Akzo Nobel Charged Under Environmental Regulations for New Substances
TORONTO -- May 25, 1999 -- Akzo-Nobel Chemicals Ltd, of 1 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, Ontario was charged in Provincial Court, Brampton, Ontario on May 13, 1999, with three counts of violating the New Substances Notification Regulations issued pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The first court appearance to respond to these charges is scheduled for June 4, 1999.
The purpose of the New Substances Notification Regulations is to ensure that no new substances will be manufactured in or imported into Canada on a commercial scale before an assessment has been carried out to determine the risk they pose to the environment and human health.
It is alleged that Akzo Nobel failed to make the proper pre-notification to Environment Canada's "New Substances Division" on three occasions. This resulted in considerable delay in the proper evaluation and assessment of the environmental impact of these chemicals. During the time between importation of the first substance in August 1994 and the cessation of imports in March 1998, over 90 000 kilograms of notifiable substances, namely three organic peroxides, were brought into Canada prior to proper toxicological assessments being carried out.
An assessment of the substances in early 1998 confirmed their toxicity and resulted in the issue of Ministerial Conditions (an order by the Minister of the Environment) on the company which impose special requirements for handling these substances when they are wastes and for treatment of their shipping containers prior to disposal.
These offences are punishable on a first offence, to a fine not exceeding $200,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.
The charges were laid by Environment Canada following an investigation conducted by the Ontario Regional Office of the Environmental Protection Branch.