MONTRÉAL – On July 31, 2018, C.M. Security Holding Ltd. pleaded guilty to four counts of violating the PCB Regulations and one count of failing to comply with an environmental protection compliance order, thereby committing offences under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
As a result, the company was fined $240,000 to be paid to the Environmental Damages Fund, administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The company was also ordered to issue a notice of offence in a known newspaper within six months. The company will also be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry, which contains information on convictions of corporations, under certain federal environmental laws.
In January 2015, an on-site inspection by Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers confirmed that PCBs from two transformers on the company’s property had been released into the environment, contaminating more than 400 metric tonnes of soil. In February 2015, officers issued an environmental protection compliance order directing that corrective measures be taken.
Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are toxic industrial chemical substances that are harmful to aquatic ecosystems and the species that feed primarily on aquatic organisms. PCBs are very persistent in the environment and in the living tissue of humans and animals. Scientific data suggests they are probable human carcinogens, and they are toxic to fish at low concentrations.
Subsequently, an investigation was undertaken, which determined that the company allowed PCB-containing liquids to be released into the environment, failed to submit a written report following the release, failed to implement five of the six ordered actions, illegally used and stored PCB-containing equipment beyond the period allowed by the regulations, and failed to submit annual reports as required by the regulations for the years 2008-2014 and for 2016.
Environment and Climate Change Canada’s enforcement officers conduct inspections and investigations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. They strive to ensure that organizations and individuals comply with relevant environmental protection legislation.
The Environmental Damages Fund is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It was created in 1995 to provide a mechanism for funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to be directed to projects that will benefit our natural environment.
Environment and Climate Change Canada has created a free subscription service to help Canadians stay current with what the Government of Canada is doing to protect our natural environment.