OSHAWA, Ont. – On December 10, 2018, GFL Environmental Inc. was sentenced after pleading guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice to violating federal environmental legislation. The company was fined $300,000, which will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.
After an investigation led by Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers, charges were laid and GFL Environmental Inc. pleaded guilty to two counts of contravening the Tetrachloroethylene (Use in Dry Cleaning and Reporting Requirements) Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 for selling tetrachloroethylene to owners or operators of dry-cleaning facilities that did not meet regulatory standards.
The Regulations prohibit anyone from selling tetrachloroethylene to dry cleaners unless the dry-cleaning facility is compliant with the equipment specifications set out in the Regulations, which aim to reduce releases into the environment.
Tetrachloroethylene, commonly known as PERC, is used as a dry-cleaning solvent and is listed as a toxic substance under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. If PERC is released into the air, it can damage plants. Improper handling of PERC and PERC-containing waste can also contaminate ground water.
As a result of this conviction, GFL Environmental Inc. will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry. The Environmental Offenders Registry contains information on convictions of corporations having committed offences under certain federal environmental laws.
The Environmental Damages Fund is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. Created in 1995, it provides a way to direct funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to projects that will benefit our natural environment.