The Bay store in downtown Montreal was fined $765,000 for illegally releasing pollutants into the St. Lawrence River, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada said Friday.
Nathalie Houle of the federal government’s public prosecution office was unable to confirm a Montreal La Presse report the fine was imposed after roughly 146 kilograms of PCBs from old transformers on the building’s roof leaked into a drain and into the river.
She said the fine was levied Wednesday and that Environment Canada conducted the investigation.
PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are industrial chemicals that have been used in electrical, hydraulic and other equipment since around 1929.
Their release into the environment was made illegal by Canada in 1985.
Canadian law, however, permits the continued use of the chemicals inside equipment until the end of their service life.
Representatives from the Hudson’s Bay Co. could not be reached for comment.