A Kitchener-based company has been fined $265,000 after pleading guilty to contravening environmental laws banning ozone-depleting substances. 

An investigation by Environment and Climate Change Canada found Fastenal Canada Ltd. imported and sold aerosol products containing hydrochlorofluorocarbons between November 2012 and January 2015.

The company pleaded guilty to contravening the Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulations, 1998.

The fine was issued Thursday Sept. 7 and will be deposited into the Environmental Damages Fund which, according to Environment Canada, supports community and non-profit groups "for projects that have measureable and positive impact on the environment."

HCFCs vs. CFCs

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons are similar to, but considered less dangerous than, chlorofluorocarbons.

The group of chemical substances is mainly used for refrigeration and air conditioning, but can also be used for solvent cleaning, fire protection and in aerosols. Though commonly used in the 1980s, Environment Canada said developed countries have almost completely phased-out use of  hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

Fastenal's corporate headquarters is based in Winona, Minn., and the company distributes construction and manufacturing products. It's name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.