Thursday, March 17, 2011

Canadian Officials Seize 5315 Cylinders of Illegally Imported HCFC-22

Record Seizure of More Than $1 Million of a Toxic Substance
Environment Canada News Release:

MONTRÉAL, Que. -- March 7, 2011 -- Following an investigation conducted by Environment Canada officers, the company Gestion Alexis Dionne Inc. and its president, Mr. Alexis Dionne, have accepted responsibility for the illegal importation of approximately 120,000 kg of chlorodifluoromethane (HFCF-22), a gas used in the refrigeration industry.

The company and its president have been charged with four counts of illegal importation of HFCF-22 between September 2008 and June 2009, in contravention of the Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998.

With the agreement of the Attorney General of Canada, they have signed on March 2, 2011, an Environmental Protection Alternative Measures Agreement (EPAM) as provided under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

The charges against company Gestion Alexis Dionne Inc. and its president, Mr. Alexis Dionne, follow an investigation conducted by Environment Canada officers in 2009 at a warehouse located in Saint-Jérôme, Québec, where 5,315 cylinders, or approximately 72,285 kg, of HCFC-22 were discovered and seized. This is a record seizure.

Among other things, the alternative measures imposed in the agreement signed by Gestion Alexis Dionne Inc. and its president, Mr. Dionne, provide consent to forfeit to Her Majesty in right of Canada the 5,315 cylinders of HCFC-22 seized (of which the market value is estimated at more than $1 million), the production and publication of an article in a specialized magazine and on the Gestion Alexis Dionne Inc. Internet site, as well as immediate voluntary payment of an amount of $4,500 to the Environmental Damages Fund.

This agreement will be in effect for a period of 36 months. If these conditions are not respected in their entirety during this period, the case will be brought before the court. This resolution is the result of an investigation by Environment Canada's Enforcement Branch.

The Ozone-depleting Substances Regulations, 1998, represent Canada's commitment to meeting its international obligations under the Montréal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Among other things, these Regulations control the import, export, manufacturing, use, sale and offering for sale of certain substances, including HCFC-22. These reductions are intended to prevent damages resulting from gradual destruction of the ozone layer and thus contribute to protecting the environment, health and human life.

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