On September 7, 2017 a Kitchener company pled guilty and was fined $265,000 for two counts of contravening the Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulations, 1998 under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The fine will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund and used for environmental protection projects.
The company is one of Canada’s largest fastener distributers that grew from a small regional supplier into a large regional corporation with more than 2,600 stores. The company is involved in the distribution of construction and industrial products. Environment and Climate Change Officers found that the company had imported and sold aerosol products containing hydrochlorofluorocarbons (“HCFCs”) which is a regulated ozone depleting substance from November 2012 to January 2015.
HCFCs is a prohibited substance that is linked to the thinning of the earth’s ozone layer that absorbs more of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. The illegal product sold by the company was a contact cleaner used to clean printed circuit boards. HCFCs are primarily used for foam blowing, refrigeration and air conditioning, solvent cleaning, aerosols and fire protection. A written warning was issued to the company prior to the Environmental and Climate Change filing charges.
The conviction will also result in the company being added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.