On August 16, 2017, Dalex Canada, pled guilty to one count of contravening the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations (“Dry Cleaning Regulations”) under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (“CEPA”). Dalax Canada supplies equipment and services to the fabricare and laundry industry.
Tetrachloroethylene is also referred to as tetrachloroethene or perchloroehtylene (“perc”) and is a colourless liquid widely used in dry cleaning operations, degreasing metal parts and in the manufacturing of other chemicals. Tetrachloroethylene’s partial degradation products include trichloroethylene, cis-1,2-dichloroethene, and vinyl chloride. Tetrachloroethylene is designated as a toxic substance under CEPA and has the potential to contaminate surface and groundwater.
The inspections of the Dalex Canada facility in 2014 conducted by Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers confirmed the sale of tetrachloroethylene to owners and operators of dry-cleaning facilities who were not in compliance with the Dry Cleaning Regulations. The Dry Cleaning Regulations prohibit the sale of tetrachloroethylene to a dry cleaner unless the dry cleaning facility is in compliance with the specified sections of the Dry Cleaning Regulations.
In addition to the fine the court ordered the company to publish an article in an industry publication. This is a common enforcement tool used by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada. The company is also required to notify Environment and Climate Change Canada prior to resuming sales of tetrachloroethylene to dry cleaning facilities. In addition, the company name will be added to the federal Environmental Offenders Registry.
The $100,000 fine will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund. The Environment Damages Fund was created in 1995 and is administered by Environment and Climate Change. The Environment Damages Funds provides a mechanism to use the funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments for projects that benefit the natural environment.