Environmental law: two Quebec companies condemned

Two Quebec companies were ordered to pay fines totaling $ 75,000 for using and storing equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a molecule considered toxic to health and the environment.

The two companies in question, 150 Montréal-Toronto and Recydem Enviro, received a visit from government inspectors on February 20, 2015, who noted the presence of PCBs in the equipment.

150 Montreal-Toronto had appointed Recydem Enviro inc. for the management of its equipment which contains polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), but the procedure does not appear to have been completed on time.

Recydem Enviro has pleaded guilty to not having sent the faulty equipment on or around March 19, 2016, and will have to pay $ 25,000. For its part, 150 Montreal-Toronto pleaded guilty to the non-compliant storage of PCBs between February 20, 2015 and January 30, 2018, and will have to pay $ 50,000.

Until the late 1970s, PCBs were primarily used as insulating liquids in electrical transformers and capacitors, as heat exchangers, and in various other specialized applications.

Their import, manufacture and sale have been banned in Canada under federal regulations since 1977. However, these regulations allow owners of equipment containing PCBs to continue to use them if they were already in use, with a deadline set at December 31, 2015.

100% of fines will be paid into the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund.

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