• Cameron and Christina Gair v. Environmental Health Officer

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    Decision Date: May 9, 2001

    Panel: Don Cummings

    Keywords: Sewage disposal permit; Sewage Disposal Regulation – ss. 3, 7(1)(b); innovative technology.

    The Appellants appealed a decision of the Environmental Health Officer (“EHO”) to refuse to issue a sewage disposal permit. The Appellants applied for a permit to install an innovative technology based waste treatment system. The system included a BioGreen treatment plant and a sand infiltration bed. The Appellants sought to obtain an order rescinding the decision of the EHO on the grounds that the slope of the property was less than that cited in the EHO’s report, and that the discharge produced by the proposed system would not contaminate neighbouring land.

    The Board determined that the permit application should be considered under s. 3(3) of the Regulation, not s. 7(1)(b), as it did not include a conventional absorption field. The Board found that the actions of the EHO to impose increasingly more stringent requirements was unreasonable and not supported by the Regulation or relevant policies, and that the Appellants had complied with the relevant policies by consulting an engineering firm. In addition, the Board determined that the proposed system would safeguard the public health with respect to any risks related to the slope of the property. Overall, the Board was satisfied that the public health would not be endangered by the proposed treatment system if the Appellants could provide further information confirming that the property contains a suitable reserve field, or that a reserve field is not necessary. The Board recommended that the EHO issue a permit for the proposed system if the Appellants could address the Board’s concerns.

    The appeal was dismissed, with recommendations.