Dry cleaner fined $77,000 for violating the Canadian Environmental Protection Act

On July 5, 2019, Serge Forest, owner of the dry cleaning company 9042-6560 Québec Inc., operating as Net Escompte-Serge Daoust in Laval, was sentenced and ordered to pay a penalty of $77,000.

He pleaded guilty to four counts of violating the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

He also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an environmental protection compliance order issued by an enforcement officer under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The entire amount of the fine will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund.

The charges were laid after an inspection of the company’s premises in October 2016, during which Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers found violations of the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting) Regulations.

The offences identified involve the storage and disposal of tetrachloroethylene waste and the maintenance, conservation and production of records in relation to dry cleaning activities. To remedy these offences, a compliance order was issued. However, Mr. Serge Forest did not comply with it.

Tetrachloroethylene, or PERC, is a dry cleaning solvent, and it is designated as a toxic substance, under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. It can enter the environment through the atmosphere, where it can damage plants and find its way into groundwater.

In addition to the fine, the court made an order under subsection 291(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The order stipulates that Serge Forest must:

  • refrain from engaging in any activity that may result in the continuation or repetition of the offence;
  • publish, within six months after the judgment, an article on the facts relating to the offence in Fabricare Canadamagazine and provide proof of publication to Environment and Climate Change Canada;
  • display the magazine article in the window of his business for a period of 12 months following publication;
  • complete Seneca College’s Dry Cleaners Environmental Management Training Course within 18 months after the judgment and provide proof of successful completion to Environment and Climate Change Canada;
  • design and implement training for his employees, develop a safe procedure for using and handling tetrachloroethylene, and provide Environment and Climate Change Canada with a copy of the procedure as well as the date and names of the employees trained as soon as possible; and
  • within two months after the judgment, bring into compliance the dry cleaning machine used in the offences committed under the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting) Regulations and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, unless he decides to dispose of it voluntarily. Environment and Climate Change Canada shall be informed in advance of the persons selected to conduct the inspection and a copy of the inspection report shall be submitted to them. If necessary, corrections shall be made and confirmation sent to the Department.

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/news/2019/07/quebec-businessman-fined-77000-after-pleading-guilty-to-four-counts-of-violating-the-canadian-environmental-protection-act.html

______________________________________________________________________________________

Manning Environmental Law is a Canadian law firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Our practice is focussed on environmental law, energy law and aboriginal law. 

Paul Manning is a certified specialist in environmental law. He has been named as one of the World’s Leading Environmental Lawyers and one of the World’s Leading Climate Change Lawyers by Who’s Who Legal.

As always, these posts  are provided only as a general guide and are not legal advice. If you do have any issue that requires legal advice please get in touch. Our contact details can be found here

Gallery | This entry was posted in Environment, Environmental, Environmental Enforcement, federal environmental regulation, Uncategorized, Waste and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s