MicroChem receives approval to store combustibles
Westborough – The Board of Selectmen approved a license application during a public hearing held during its Oct. 23 meeting for the company MicroChem to store flammable and combustible materials at its soon-to-be opened 200 Flanders Rd. location.
MicroChem manufactures “special chemicals for microelectronics, advanced lithography, and specialty displays,” among other things, according to its website. The company has been in Newton for 17 years but decided to move to Westborough in order to expand its operations, Kevin Roache, a representative for the company, told the board. The company was also approved for a 15-year tax increment financing agreement at the Aug. 7 Special Town Meeting.
The board members noted that they were satisfied that Microchem had fulfilled all permitting requirements based on a report from Fire Chief Nick Perron. The request to store 45,000 gallons of the flammable and combustible materials is subject to 11 different conditions related to state fire regulations and building codes, including scheduling annual reviews of the property and ensuring initial and refresher training for the company’s employees.
One abutter, Ben Stevens, the owner of Trask Development, Inc. , expressed concern with the request. Stevens is currently building a new development in a residentially-zoned area near the MicroChem property; as such, he said that he has “grave concerns” about how the values of the new homes would be affected by the fact that MicroChem was storing flammable and combustible chemicals nearby.
“We should have been notified,” he said. “I’ve never been told what materials are going there.”
The board, as well as Town Counsel Greg Franks, noted that because MicroChem was in an industrial zone and had been approved for the license only after going through an extensive permitting process, all required town obligations had been met.
Town Manager Jim Malloy added that MicroChem had recently invited abutters to an open house to meet with them and tour the facility but none had taken them up on that offer.
The board approved the request for the license unanimously.
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