Les Entrepôts A.B. inc., a Québec-based company, was fined a total of $564,000 after pleading guilty, on October 4, to three counts of contravening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and the Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinishing Products Regulations, which are part of the Act.
Volatile organic compounds are primary precursors to the formation of ground-level ozone and particulate matter, the main components of smog. Smog is known to have adverse effects on human health and the environment.
An investigation by Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers revealed that the company had imported, offered for sale, and sold automotive refinishing products that contained volatile organic compounds in excess of the allowable limit. The company also failed to comply with an environmental protection compliance order issued by an enforcement officer, under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
The company received two fines of $125,000 for importing and selling the products, respectively, totalling $250,000, and a fine of $150,000 for failing to comply with an environmental protection compliance order. In addition to the fines on the three counts, the company received an additional $164,000 fine for financial gains. This amount represents the profits generated by the sale of non-compliant automotive refinishing products. The total fines will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.
In addition, the judge ordered the confiscation and destruction of the automotive refinishing products seized at the company’s expense, as well as the publication of an article in Le Carrossier magazine (Autosphere.ca) within six months. The article must contain the facts of the offence and the details of the sentence.
As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.
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