June 20, 2008

Officials Won’t Release Name of Last Holdout in Beede Cleanup

By Meghan Carey, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

Jun. 20--PLAISTOW -- There's no way to tell who is delaying the cleanup of the Beede Waste Oil Superfund site.

Just one of the 101 parties responsible for the most contaminated site in the state is still objecting to paying its portion of the cleanup. The U.S. District Court has sealed records for that company, granting it anonymity until it's resolved, according to Jeffrey Sands, the lead prosecutor on the case.

The other 100 parties signed a consent decree, agreeing to pay for the $48 million cleanup.

The court will allow the unknown party to present its side in court, but Sands said yesterday he could not comment further because that part of the case is not public record.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lodged the consent decree in April 2007 -- about 15 years after its investigation into the site began -- and has been waiting until every party agrees. Work at the Kelley Road site has been on hold since 2005.

The date of the court hearing is unknown, as is whether it will resolve the matter. But Jim Brown, EPA's project manager for the site, said earlier this week that he's optimistic it will just be a few months.

In the meantime, an engineering firm contracted by the responsible parties, plans to begin testing and collecting data sometime in July. The test results will be used to hone the final cleanup plan, which would be implemented in 2011.

It will likely take one year to filter vapors and truck out contaminated sand, but a groundwater treatment plant will have to run for years afterward.


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