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EPA Settles with 276 More Parties at Plaistow, N.H. Superfund Site

Release Date: 12/09/2004
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner, Office of Public Affairs, 617-918-1865

For Immediate Release: Dec. 9, 2004 Release # SR04-12-06

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and N.H. Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) today announced a settlement with 276 parties, including companies and municipalities in Mass., N.H. and R.I. that resolves their liability at the Beede Waste Oil Superfund Site in Plaistow, N.H., while contributing to the cost of cleaning up this heavily contaminated site. This is the fourth settlement at the 40-acre toxic waste site which was extensively contaminated from the 1920’s until the closing of the facility in 1994. This settlement represents a continued large-scale effort by EPA to provide small-volume contributors of hazardous waste with an opportunity to avoid lengthy Superfund negotiations.

This fourth settlement brings the total number of parties who have settled with EPA and NH DES to 1,199, and it brings the total amount of money raised in all four settlements to more than $17.3 million. Settlement funds are currently being held in a special EPA site-specific account, for future application to costs associated with the cleanup of the site.

EPA offered to settle with individual small-volume contributors based on the amount of hazardous waste the party contributed to Beede. The settlement includes parties who contributed up to 20,000 gallons of hazardous waste to the site, and offers ranged between $2,000 and $140,000. Of the 775 parties given an opportunity to settle their liability in this fourth settlement round, 276 parties chose to accept the offer and conclude their involvement with Beede. By accepting the offer to settle, the parties are released from all EPA and state of N.H. cleanup costs associated with the site, and are protected from potential contribution lawsuits for the cost of cleanup by other liable parties.

The offers were issued in May 2004, and closed on August 9, 2004. The settlement was made effective on December 6, 2004, following a legally required notice and public comment period.
“EPA has used every creative tool possible to provide fair, equitable, and early settlement opportunities to small contributors,” said Ira Leighton, deputy regional administrator of EPA’s New England Office. “With nearly 1,200 parties settled, EPA and NH DES can now focus our efforts on reaching an agreement with the remaining major parties to conduct the final phase of cleanup at the site.”

With this fourth settlement completed, EPA will begin final negotiations for performance of the cleanup with parties identified by EPA as “major” parties, “transporters,” “owners/operators,” and other generators who have yet to settle with EPA. Forty-two parties responsible for roughly half of the hazardous wastes brought to the site will be required to pay the largest portion of the cleanup costs and/or perform the cleanup itself.

The Beede site, located in a residential Plaistow neighborhood, was a waste oil storage and recycling facility from the1920s through August 1994. Waste oil seeped out of Beede’s storage facilities which included an unlined lagoon, and above and underground storage tanks. The Beede site was listed as a federal Superfund site in 1996. EPA, under a cooperative agreement with the NH DES has been addressing the most threatening contamination at the site such as above- and below-ground waste storage tanks as well as free-floating waste oil in groundwater.
In January 2004, EPA announced a $48 million comprehensive cleanup plan for completing the final phase of cleanup of the site. The plan, called a Record of Decision, addresses soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water contamination at the site. Soil at the site is contaminated with various chemicals, most notably polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and lead. Groundwater is contaminated primarily with volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

To date, EPA and NH DES have spent a combined $22 million for cleanup and investigation work at the site.

For more information about the site, visit EPA’s Web site: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/beede/index.htm

Related Information:
Beede Waste Oil Site
Web site