• Larry Perkins v. Environmental Health Officer

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    Decision Date: August 24, 1998

    Panel: Carol Quin

    Keywords: Sewage Disposal Regulation – ss. 3(3), 6, 7, Schedule 1, Schedule 2, and Schedule 3 – ss. 14(e), 16, 17.

    Mr. Perkins appealed an Environmental Health Officer’s (“EHO”) decision to refuse a permit for an “alternate” package treatment plant system for Mr. Perkin’s property, located within an Environmental Control Zone. The permit was refused on the grounds that the minimum 30 m setback from a creek could not be met, as measured from the “toe” of the proposed mound; the field length was too short as it was based on the percolation rate of fill, rather than native soil; and the property did not have a designated reserve field area which could be used if the system failed. Mr. Perkins argued, among other things, that the EHO erred in the way he measured the setback distance and in his calculation of the required field length.

    The Board found that the Regulation does not permit “alternate” disposal systems in an Environmental Control Zone and, therefore, Mr. Perkin’s system must meet the requirements of a “conventional” system. The Board found that the 30 m setback in this case must be measured from the toe of the mound and that the EHO correctly determined that this distance could not be met. The Board also found that the length of the field should be determined using native soil percolation rates. Given the rate of the native soil, a much larger field area would be required than the one proposed. The Board also found that the proposed pipe size did not comply with the mandatory requirements of the Regulation. Even if the system could be considered as an “alternate”, the Board concluded that there is no discretionary authority to relax the mandatory setbacks to a creek. The EHO’s decision was upheld and the appeal was dismissed.