BC Fabricare Association

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Drycleaners could face jail time for violating environmental regulations

Lester's Dry Cleaning, North Vancouver  |  North Shore News file Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:55am PST

A provincial court judge asked a lawyer to tell him why he shouldn't send a North Vancouver drycleaning company owner to jail after the company pleaded guilty to violating environmental regulations in a way that allowed a toxic chemical to evaporate into the air.

"He endangered the health of every customer that walked into the store," Judge Steven Merrick told lawyers at a sentencing hearing for Lester's Dry Cleaning, represented by sole director and officer Alhamid Dharshi. "Why shouldn't I send him to jail?"

The questions came after Lester's pleaded guilty to keeping the dry-cleaning solvent tetrachloroethylene, known as "PERC," without a closed lid and without a secondary containment system, as required by regulations.

The company was charged after environmental protection officers conducted an inspection on June 21 last year and found two buckets - one containing green liquid and another containing solid material -sitting on the floor. "There were no lids on either of the buckets," said Crown counsel Perbeen Mann.  Read more



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