Numbered company 1526806 Ontario Inc. was sentenced on July 27, 2016, in the Ontario Court of Justice and ordered to pay $70,000 after being convicted on January 12, 2016, of contravening the PCB Regulations and failing to comply with an Environmental Protection Compliance Order issued under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).
The conviction relates to the continued use of, and failure to store or send for destruction to an authorized facility, equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at concentrations in excess of those permitted under the PCB Regulations.
PCBs are industrial chemicals that were synthesized and commercialized in North America in 1929. They were used in the manufacturing of electrical equipment, heat exchangers, hydraulic systems, and several other specialized applications up to the late 1970s. While they were never manufactured in Canada, they were widely used.
PCBs are very persistent both in the environment and in living tissue. The most obvious signs of environmental harm caused by PCBs are in aquatic ecosystems and in species that eat primarily aquatic organisms.
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Environment and Climate Change Canada said it has taken “strong and effective” steps under CEPA to control the use, importation, manufacture, storage and release of PCBs. In 1977, the import, manufacture, and sale (for re-use) of PCBs were made illegal in Canada, and in 1985, their release to the environment was made illegal. In 2008, the PCB Regulations introduced specific deadlines for ending the use of PCBs in concentrations at or above 50 mg/kg and limiting the period of time PCBs can be stored before being destroyed. These requirements are expected to reduce releases of PCBs into the environment.