• Dr. Alfred Johnson v. Environmental Health Officer

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    Decision Date: August 22, 1996

    Panel: Sheila Bull

    Keywords: Health Act – s. 5; Sewage Disposal Regulation – ss. 3, 6, 7, Schedule 2 – s. 22

    The Appellant was issued a sewage disposal permit for his undeveloped property in 1979. In 1993, he sought a renewal of the permit. The Appellant was advised to apply for a new permit as his had expired and there had been changes in public health policy since the original permit was issued. A new application was made in 1995, but the Environmental Health Officer (“EHO”) denied to issue a permit on the grounds that it did not meet the criteria required for approval. There was insufficient soil, a steep slope and potential effluent breakout points. Dr. Johnson appealed the decision on the grounds that other lots in the same subdivision have functioning sewage systems; it is unrealistic to expect a municipal sewage system to be installed in the foreseeable future; and problems associated with “innovative technology” appear to be almost insurmountable.

    The Board held that once a permit expires, the original permit will be subject to the standards in place when the new application is made. The Board found that its only obliged to determine whether the EHO properly considered and applied the regulations under the Health Act in force at the time the application was made in 1995. The Board also found that, under the current legislation and policies, the proposed sewage disposal system did not meet the standards required to protect the public health. The appeal was dismissed.