Recently, Dalex Canada Inc., located in Concord, Ontario, pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice to one count of contravening the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations made pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. Dalex Canada Inc. was fined $100,000, which will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund. The Environmental Damages Fund is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. Created in 1995, it provides a way to direct funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to projects that will benefit our natural environment.
Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers conducted inspections in 2014 and identified instances where tetrachloroethylene was being sold to owners and operators of dry-cleaning facilities who did not meet regulatory standards. As a result of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s subsequent investigation, Dalex Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to selling tetrachloroethylene to an owner or operator of a dry-cleaning facility who was not in compliance with the regulations. The regulations prohibit anyone from selling tetrachloroethylene to dry cleaners unless the dry-cleaning facility is compliant with certain sections of the regulations.
In addition to the fine, the court ordered Dalex Canada Inc. to publish an article in an industry publication, subject to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s approval. Dalex Canada Inc. is also required to notify Environment and Climate Change Canada before resuming sales of the regulated product to dry cleaners. As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the federal Environmental Offenders Registry. The Environmental Offenders Registry contains information on convictions of corporations registered for offences committed under certain federal environmental laws.
Tetrachloroethylene, also known as PERC, enters the environment through the atmosphere, where it can damage plants and find its way into ground water.