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Ashford Cleaners Inc., a Toronto dry cleaner operating in Toronto, Ontario, is one of the first to pay the new, higher fines for offences under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999), as it was amended last year.

Ashfor Cleaners agreed to pay $60,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund to publish an article regarding the results of their case in a textile industry magazine. It was convicted of contravening the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations in July 2012 by improper storage and containment of tetrachloroethylene waste water and residue. Tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene and referred to as PERC, is a commonly used but toxic dry cleaning solvent and is designated as a toxic substance under CEPA, 1999.

Higher maximum and minimum  penalties for offences under CEPA, 1999 came into force on June 22, 2012. Ashford Cleaners Inc. was fined under these new provisions and is one of the first cases in which the new higher minimum fines were imposed.

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