Plastique Royal inc. ordered to pay a fine of $600,000 after selling non-compliant automotive refinishing products
November 7, 2023 – Laval, Quebec
Canadians know the value of a healthy and safe environment. Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers strive to ensure that businesses and the public comply with the acts and regulations designed to protect Canada’s natural environment.
On November 6, 2023, Plastique Royal inc. was ordered by the Court of Québec, at the Laval courthouse, to pay a fine of $600,000. The company pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (the Act) and one count of violating the Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinishing Products Regulations (the Regulations). The fine will be directed to the Government of Canada's Environmental Damages Fund.
In April 2019, Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers carried out an inspection at the premises of Plastique Royal inc., a distributor of bodywork products located in Laval, Quebec. The inspection revealed violations relating to the sale of automotive refinishing products whose volatile organic compound concentration exceeded the maximum concentration authorized by the Regulations. The officers then issued an environmental protection compliance order to the company to immediately stop the sale and marketing of the products concerned.
The officers then carried out a follow-up inspection, analyzed the documents received as part of the execution order, and compared the data with the analysis results of the sampled products. They concluded that Plastique Royal inc. was still selling automotive refinishing products whose volatile organic compound concentration exceeded the maximum concentration stipulated by the Regulations. As a result, the company was still in breach of subsection 3(2) of the Regulations. In doing so, Plastique Royal inc. was also in violation of the environmental protection compliance order under subsection 238(1) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
As a result of this conviction, the company's name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry. The registry contains information on convictions of companies for violations of federal environmental laws.
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Volatile organic compounds are organic chemicals that can evaporate into the air. They contribute to the formation of ozone and organic aerosols, two components of smog. Smog can have adverse effects on human health and the environment. Studies show that air pollution, including smog, is associated with an increased risk of respiratory and heart disease.
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 governs various environmental issues, such as air and water pollution, waste management, and toxic substances. Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers conduct inspections and investigations under the Act. They ensure that organizations and individuals comply with applicable environmental protection laws.
The Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Concentration Limits for Automotive Refinishing Products Regulations are designed to protect the environment and the health of Canadians from the effects of air pollution. They set volatile organic compound concentration limits for 14 categories of automotive refinishing products intended for use in Canada. These products must meet established concentration limits before they can be manufactured, imported, marketed, or sold in Canada. The product categories and their concentration limits for volatile organic compounds are listed in the Appendix of the Regulations.
Environment and Climate Change Canada administers the Environmental Damages Fund, which is a Government of Canada program created in 1995. The Fund enables court-ordered fines to be used to repair environmental damage or generate positive environmental impacts. It redistributes the money that comes from fines or settlements obtained from the courts, with the money usually invested where the harm was done.
Environment and Climate Change Canada
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