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Compliance Guide for Dry Cleaners

II.  Background

PERC was included in the list of 44 substances published as the first Priority Substances List in the Canada Gazette Part 1 on February 11, 1989. These substances were given priority by Environment Canada and Health Canada for assessing whether they are "toxic or capable of becoming toxic" according to the definition specified in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1988. On February 5, 1994, a synopsis of the results of the PERC assessment was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. The assessment concluded that PERC occurs in the Canadian environment in quantities that may be harmful to the environment (notably terrestrial plants). Consequently, PERC was added to the CEPA 1999 list of toxic substances - see Canada Gazette, Part II, March 29, 2000.

Under the Federal government’s Toxic Substances Management Policy, PERC fits the management goal to minimize environmental and human health risks by reducing exposure to, and/or release throughout its life-cycle. Following extensive consultation with producers, importers and users of PERC, other levels of governments and environmental groups, the proposed Regulations were published in Canada Gazette, Part I on August 18, 2001. After further consultation, the final Regulations were passed into law on February 27, 2003 and then published in the Canada Gazette, Part II on March 12, 2003. The purpose of the Regulations is to reduce PERC releases to the environment from dry-cleaning facilities. These reductions will be attained by requiring newer, more efficient dry-cleaning machines, by minimizing spills of PERC and by managing the collection and disposal of residue and waste water.

More background information to the Regulations can be found on Environment Canada’s web site at: http://www.ec.gc.ca/regs-tetra or from the appropriate regional Environment Canada contact listed in Appendix A.