EPA demands Beede Superfund cleanup

The Environmental Protection Agency is ordering 30 potentially responsible parties to begin cleaning up the Beede Waste Oil Superfund site in Plaistow – a cleanup that an EPA official said is due after waiting a “sufficient time” for the parties to come up with a cleanup plan.

The agency said the order was issued because efforts to engage the parties in negotiations over cleanup have been unsuccessful.

“Seeing this barren waste oil site cleaned up, and restoring an important drinking water aquifer for area residents, is critical,” said Ira Leighton, deputy regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We have given these potentially responsible parties sufficient time to tell us how they propose to carry through the cleanup plan for the site, and after months of waiting for a proposal it is apparent that the time has come to switch gears and compel the parties, through the use of our enforcement tools, to carry out the cleanup.”

The 10 largest so-called PRPs are ExxonMobil Corp., Brodie Mountain Ski Area, the U.S. Navy, Cumberland Farms, Ryder Truck Rental, Vernon Plastics Corp., Waste Management, the Massachusetts State Police and Fluor Power Systems. The Beede site was added to the Superfund National Priorities list in 1996.

Under the unilateral administrative order issued yesterday, the parties are required to implement the 2004 comprehensive cleanup plan for the site. The plan, called a Record of Decision, addresses soil, sediment, groundwater, and surface water contamination at the site. The plan’s cost is estimated at $48 million. All told, the EPA and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services have spent some $24 million on cleanup planning and remediation.

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 agency said that at the same time it is considering what it called “settlement options” with parties responsible for small volumes of waste, including those that have already submitted “inability to pay” claims.

For more information on the Beede site, visit epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/beede. – JEFF FEINGOLD

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