mercury refining, inc.


From 1956 to 1998, the half-acre Mercury Refining Company, Inc. (“Mereco”) site, located in Guilderland and Colonie, New York (the Site), was used for reclaiming mercury from batteries and other mercury-bearing materials. The Site lies in a light industrial and commercial area. Approximately 20,000 people live within a one and a half-mile radius of the Site; 100,000 live within three miles with the closest residents living about a quarter of a mile from the Site. An unnamed tributary to Patroon Creek (Unnamed Tributary) runs next to the Site. The Unnamed Tributary merges with the Patroon Creek downstream and approximately five miles downstream of the Site empties into the Hudson River. Site operators reclaimed mercury from batteries and other mercury-bearing materials in two on-Site retorts. Until 1980, waste batteries and other mercury-bearing materials were dumped behind the on-Site furnace building. After 1980, these wastes were stored in drums on wooden pallets on paved areas of the Site. Tests in the early 1980s indicated that waste was at least three feet below the ground surface. The New York State Department of Environment Conservation's (NYSDEC) Fish and Wildlife Division tested soil in this area in the early 1980s and discovered high levels of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in soils and stream sediments. Pursuant to an agreement with NYSDEC, in 1985, mercury and PCB contaminated soil was excavated and removed from a portion of the Site. In 1989 a new container storage building was erected on-Site and in 1994, new retorts were installed. In 1998, Mereco ceased its mercury reclamation activity at the Site. Currently, the Site serves as a facility for the recovery of precious metals. In November 1999, NYSDEC requested that EPA take over the lead at the Site. Site Responsibility: This site is being addressed through the actions of potentially responsible parties.

Hazardous Ranking Score

45 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 2
Phone: (877) 251-4575

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

        Potentially Responsible Parties

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