Cleanup Agreement for Plaistow, N.H., Site to Cost Settling Parties Millions

On April 16, the federal government and state of New Hampshire reached a comprehensive settlement agreement with 101 potentially responsible parties to ensure cleanup actions at the 41-acre Beede Waste Oil Superfund site in Plaistow, N.H.

The agreement provides for site-wide cleanup estimated to cost approximately $48 million, payment of more than $9 million for future federal and state oversight costs, and recovery of more than $17 million in past response costs incurred by federal and state agencies at the site.

The agreement calls for major settling parties, which collectively contributed roughly half of the known waste, to clean up the site under the oversight of EPA. Under the settlement agreement, a group of de minimis parties and federal agencies also are resolving their Superfund liability by contributing funds needed to help clean up and restore the site.

"This settlement marks the first step towards site-wide remediation and restoration of the Beede site. I am pleased the settling parties have worked together to sign this agreement and to make Plaistow a cleaner, safer community," said Matthew J. McKeown, acting assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division,of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). "The settlement demonstrates the Justice Department's commitment to ensuring Superfund sites like this one are cleaned and restored."

Ira Leighton, deputy regional administrator of EPA's New England office, stated: "This settlement agreement marks the beginning of a new chapter at the Beede site. It ensures that the Beede site will be cleaned up and restored for the benefit of the community."

The site is located in a residential Plaistow neighborhood that is served entirely by private drinking water supply wells. The facility operated from the 1920s through August 1994 as a waste oil storage and recycling facility. The site is contaminated primarily with waste oil that seeped into the ground from a variety of sources, including a former unlined lagoon, underground storage tanks, aboveground storage tanks and numerous drums located throughout the property. The site was added to EPA's National Priorities List in December 1996.

Under the terms of the consent decree, the settling parties are required to implement a January 2004 record of decision, which is the comprehensive cleanup plan for the site. Specifically, the cleanup plan calls for the removal of contaminated soil and sediment for off-site disposal or treatment, the treatment of deeper soils through the use of soil vapor extraction technology, the extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater with limited areas of natural attenuation, the long-term monitoring of groundwater and surface water, and the establishment of institutional controls.

The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for District of New Hampshire, can be accessed at DOJ's Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

comments powered by Disqus