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EPA INCLUDES CASH OIL SITE ON NATIONAL PRIORITIES LIST

Release Date: 12/23/1996
Contact Information: Jjim DiLorenzo, Remedial Project Manager, (617) 223-5510 Johanna Hunter, Community Involvement Coordinator, (617) 918-1041

BOSTON -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named the Beede Waste Oil (Cash Energy) Site in Plaistow, New Hampshire to the National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites, making it eligible for additional federal Superfund cleanup funds. The site is a former oil recycling, storage and distribution facility.

John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England administrator stated, "I am pleased that this decision could be made swiftly, with the support of Plaistow residents and New Hampshire officials. Using Superfund dollars, we've already begun a short-term cleanup and NPL listing will ensure that remaining contamination at the site can be addressed."

In August, an EPA cleanup crew began removing PCB-contaminated oil and other hazardous chemicals from tanks and drums. Additionally, the EPA is testing the contents of close to 800 drums on-site. Any drums containing hazardous materials will be removed. This phase of cleanup is expected to continue into next Summer. There are also more than 170,000 gallons of oily liquid waste stored at the site in approximately 100 above ground storage tanks and several piles of contaminated soils. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has covered the soil piles. The DES has also recently removed approximately 98,000 gallons of recyclable oil.

The Beede site covers approximately 39 acres on two lots at 7 Kelly Road. Beede was the location of several oil-related operations, including waste oil processing and resale, fuel oil sale, contaminated soil processing, antifreeze recycling and other related industries. The site operated from the 1920s through 1994. The property's owner, Mark O. Henry, was sentenced in June to serve 37 months for illegal handling of wastes.

The EPA and the DES signed a cooperative agreement in October to perform a full investigation of the type and extent of contamination at the site. During state investigations this year, a thick layer of PCB-contaminated oil was discovered floating on top of groundwater at the site and serving as a continuing source of contamination to the groundwater. Groundwater cleanup options will be presented for public review and comment in the spring.

In 1983, chemical contamination was discovered in a residential well near the site. The well was taken out of service and alternative water was provided. Properties in the surrounding residential neighborhood are served by individual water wells and septic systems. In 1991 and 1992, NH DES noted permit violations at the facility and found oil seepage into Kelley Brook, which flows through the site to the Merrimack River. Subsequent cleanup orders were not complied with by the property owner.

Today's NPL designation follows a 60-day public comment period. A number of letters in support of the listing were received.

In New England, 95 sites are now included on EPA's National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites: New Hampshire - 18; Massachusetts - 30; Connecticut - 15; Rhode Island - 12; Vermont - 8; and Maine - 12. Currently, there are no New England sites proposed for inclusion on the NPL. Nationally, 1210 sites are included on the NPL.