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An Edmonton businessman and owner of a dry cleaning operation, First Class Cleaners, was given an four-month conditional sentence on that is to be served in the community.  The owner of First Class Cleaners plead guilty to five Canadian Environmental Protection Act offences relating to the use of tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchloroethylene or PERC).

First Class Cleaners was issued warnings in 2005 and 2007 that the dry cleaning operation was not in compliance with the PERC Regulation.  First Class Cleaners was charged and plead guilty to two offences in 2009 and 2010.  In 2013 the regulator, Alberta Environment and Climate Change, found that First Class Cleaners, stored tetrachloroethylene in open containers, did not provide a secondary containment system for the dry cleaning machine, and failed to dispose of the tetrachloroethylene waste every 12 months all in contravention of the PERC Regulation.

The judge agreed that the owner of the dry cleaning operation could serve his sentence under house arrest for the first two and a half months and a daily curfew for the balance. The judge felt that she believes that the owner will be deferred from further non-compliance actions as a result of the “shame” placed on him and his family.

The owner of the dry cleaning operation is also required to complete 60 hours of community service and write an article in a dry-cleaning industry magazine about his failure to comply with the applicable regulatory requirements.

This is only one of numerous convictions against dry cleaners.  Dry cleaners need to ensure their facilities are in compliance with all regulatory requirements including the provisions of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, PERC Regulations, applicable provincial laws and municipal by-laws.

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