• Mountain Pacific Investments Ltd. v. Environmental Health Officer

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    Decision Date: November 6, 1995

    Panel: David Perry

    The Appellant applied to install an alternate system under the Ministry of Health Innovative Design Policy for sewage disposal on a property in Shawnigan Lake, B.C. The Appellant wished to build a new home on the lot, which currently has only a pit privy system for sewage disposal. The Environmental Health Officer rejected the application on the basis that the new system could not comply with the Regulation which requires a 100 feet setback from the highwater mark of a non-tidal water body. There is a water course on the property. The Environmental Health Officer also found that the policy requirement of a backup system being necessary when using an alternative system was not met. He found the pit privy was not an adequate backup system for the AppellantÂ’s intended new dwelling.

    The Board found that the water course on the property was not a non-tidal water body and therefore the Regulation had no application in the case. The Board then considered whether the Environmental Health Officer had properly exercised his discretion under 7(1) of the Regulation in implementing the Innovative Design Policy. In particular, the Environmental Health Officer rejected the AppellantÂ’s concern that the pit privy could operate as a backup to the alternate system. The Board found the Environmental Health Officer had failed to exercise his discretion in allowing the pit privy to operate as a backup system. The Board issued the permit with conditions ensuring that the Appellant would take full responsibility for any failure of the alternate disposal system.