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EPA fines RI polymer company

By: Gayle S. Putrich

August 29, 2014

WASHINGTON — A Rhode Island polymer manufacturer has reached a $60,000 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating federal clean air standards and Rhode Island state law.

 Mereco Technologies Group Inc. in West Warwick, R.I., was found to have violated federal emissions regulations for chemical manufacturing and has been operating without a necessary Clean Air Act permit from the state.

 In addition to the fine, Mereco must come into compliance by installing caps and covers on mixing vessels to reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), improving record keeping with monthly and annual hazardous air pollutant usage reports and conducting quarterly monitoring of process vessels using EPA-approved methods. The company must also apply for an air permit.

 The action against the company came out of a joint state and federal inspection and “a thorough review of facility records” that concluded in February 2014, according to the EPA. “Since being notified, Mereco has worked cooperatively with EPA to address the alleged violations and reach a settlement,” the federal agency said in a press release.

 Mereco and its subsidiary, Metachem Resins Corp., have operated at the same West Warwick, RI, location since the late 1970s, formulating flexible epoxy polymers, custom-formulated urethanes, thermally and electrically conductive resins, ultraviolet curable systems and materials for solar cell manufacturing, electronics, aerospace, defense, and other commercial industries. It also includes a division called DMA, a highly specialized custom packager of resin systems.

 The company could not be reached for comment but according to its Web site, Mereco successfully completed an ISO 9001:2008 audit in May and is committed to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.

 “Mereco is committed to the reduction and/or elimination of VOC’s and HAP’s in our manufacturing processes and product portfolios. We will formulate our new products to be REACH and ROHS compatible and will reformulate where possible to meet these objectives,” according to the company’s sustainability statement.