• French Creek Residents Association v. Environmental Health Officer

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:
    Combined Forest Holdings Ltd., Third Party


    Decision Date: November 18, 2002

    Panel: Alan Andison

    Keywords: Health Act – ss. 8(4), 25; aggrieved person; standing

    The Appellants filed separate appeals of the EHO’s decision to issue Combined Forest Holdings Ltd. a permit to construct a sewage disposal system for a subdivision near Parksville.

    The EHO applied to have the appeals of Arrowsmith Watersheds Coalition, French Creek Residents Association, and the Regional District of Nanaimo dismissed for lack of standing. The EHO argued that the three Appellants were not persons “aggrieved” by the permit issuance as required under section 8(4) of the Health Act.

    The Board found that the Appellants had standing to appeal the permit. In particular, the Board adopted the approach taken in Ian Cook v. Environmental Health Officer, [2000] B.C.E.A. No. 59 (Q.L.). In that case, the Board held that in order for a person to be considered “aggrieved” there must be a possibility that the person’s health could be negatively impacted, or that a health risk could be created on that person’s property. Therefore, the person’s residency and proximity to the proposed system are relevant factors. Also, a negative impact could include possible contamination of drinking water, potential “breakout”, or any other situation that could present a health risk. The Board noted that the Appellants in this case all raised concerns about potential ground water contamination. The Board also noted that domestic wells, which supply water to some of the people represented by the Appellants, rely on an acquifer that is located above the proposed system. Therefore, the Board found that the Appellants represented the interests of people who could be negatively impacted by the proposed system.

    The application to dismiss the appeals was denied.