January 29, 2007

Dry cleaning firm levied $4,000 for violating federal tetrachloroethylene regs

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI-Master Cleaners (1988), represented by owner Robert MacLauchlan, of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, recently pleaded guilty to two alleged violations of the federal tetrachloroethylene (use in dry cleaning and reporting requirements) regulations. Last November, Environment Canada charged MacLauchlan and his company with violating sections 4 and 8(1) of the regulations. The charges followed from an inspection in February 2006 when an Environment Canada enforcement officer found that Master Cleaners failed to adequately store tetrachloroethylene residue. The inspection also found that the dry cleaning company did not have adequate wastewater treatment, potentially allowing untreated tetrachloroethylene wastewater to be released down the drain. The court-imposed penalty on Master Cleaners consisted of a $1,000 fine and $3,000 to be paid into the Environmental Damages Fund, administered by Environment Canada. The company has also been ordered to develop and implement a set of written procedures in order to ensure that it does not repeat the offence. The charges against MacLauchlan were stayed by the Crown. The tetrachloroethylene regulations, registered in February 2003, control the operation of dry cleaning machines that use tetrachloroethylene. They are intended to reduce releases of tetrachloroethylene to the environment by requiring newer, more efficient dry-cleaning machines, by minimizing spills of tetrachloroethylene, and by managing the collection and disposal of residues and wastewater. The regulations also impose reporting requirements on the import, recycling, sale and use of tetrachloroethylene.

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