Superfund Site Profile

The former Pease Air Force Base is located in Portsmouth and Newington, New Hampshire. The facility officially closed in April 1991 under the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1988. Wastes generated by the U.S. Air Force when the facility was active have contaminated soil, groundwater, surface water and sediment across the former base. The Air Force has completed cleanup work, and is currently monitoring progress until cleanup goals are met.


Emerging Contaminants

EPA and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services successfully addressed the challenging issue of “emerging contaminants” at Pease Air Force Base, Portsmouth, NH.  Historical firefighting and training activities conducted by the Air Force resulted in the contamination of public and private water supply wells by perflouronated compounds (PFCs) at levels above EPA’s Provisional Health Advisory.  EPA issued an Administrative Order under the Safe Drinking Water Act which resulted in the design and construction of a treatment system for the existing water supply wells while also expediting the investigation and cleanup of these emerging contaminants in the aquifer.

See Desk Statement On Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Order, July 9, 2015 (PDF) (473 KB)

See Administrative Order for Response Action, Section 1431(a) of the Safe Drinking Water Act, August 3, 2015 (PDF) (7.43 MB)

See Emerging Contaminants Fact Sheet PFOS and PFOA, March 2014 (PDF) (153 KB) 


Institutional controls are required for this site.
This site requires ICs because a decision document, such as a Record of Decision, has documented some level of contamination and/or remedy component at the site that would restrict use of the site. These ICs are required to help ensure the site is used in an appropriate way and that activities at the site do not damage the cleanup components. These ICs will remain in place for as long as the contamination and/or cleanup components stay on site. The matrix below is a general summary of the restrictions at this site at the date of this report. The information in this matrix is a general description of the restrictions at the site only. The site contacts should be consulted if there are questions on the ICs for this site.
The following IC Instruments provide media-specific use restrictions that have been implemented by EPA for protecting human health, the environment and remedial engineering on this site. Instruments are documents used by EPA or other organizations to implement the use restrictions at a site. To know about other media-specific use restrictions that are planned but not implemented at this site, please contact the Regional Office using the Site Contact listed above. Note that where multiple entries occur, it will impact more than one pathway.
Click here for IC Instruments implemented for this site. 

ICs are generally defined as administrative and legal tools that do not involve construction or physically changing the site. Common examples of ICs include site use and excavation restrictions put in place through State and local authorities like zoning, permits and easements. ICs are normally used when waste is left onsite and when there is a limit to the activities that can safely take place at the site (i.e., the site cannot support unlimited use and unrestricted exposure) and/or when cleanup components of the remedy remains onsite (e.g., landfill caps, pumping equipment or pipelines). Effective ICs help ensure that these sites can be returned to safe and beneficial use.
Disclaimer: This information is being provided by EPA as an informational tool to further assist the public in determining the types of restrictions that may be in place at National Priorities List sites being addressed by EPA under the Superfund program. In addition to the areas addressed by the institutional controls identified on this web site there may be other areas on the property that require restrictions on use of the property that are not captured in this EPA database. States and other entities may have implemented laws or restrictions applicable to this site. The information provided herein does not replace a title search or meet "All Appropriate Inquiry" requirements. U.S. EPA encourages users to review the Site files to obtain information regarding remedy components, containment systems and the land use for which cleanup standards were selected for these sites. More information and links can be found in the Institutional Control instrument collection of document, above, and the EPA regional offices may also be contacted.


Yes (09/26/2000)
Human Exposure

Under Control
Contaminated Ground
Water Status
Insufficient Data
Site-Wide Ready for
Anticipated Use?