from the Environmental Review Appeals Commission ERAC No.
brief: Lavelle and Associates, and Robert R. Rittenhouse;
Robe Law Office, and Scott M. Robe, for appellant. Argued:
Robert R. Rittenhouse.
brief: Michael DeWine, Attorney General, and Nicole
Candelora-Norman, for appellee Craig Butler, Director of
Environmental Protection Agency. Argued: Nicole
brief: Bricker & Eckler LLP, Christopher L. McCloskey,
Christine Rideout Schirra, Desmond J. Cullimore, and Tarik M.
Kershah, for appellee Alexander Local School District.
Argued: Desmond J. Cullimore.
1} Appellant, the Village of Albany, Ohio
("Village"), appeals from an order of the
Environmental Review Appeals Commission of Ohio
("ERAC") granting a motion to dismiss for lack of
standing filed by appellee Alexander Local School District
("School District") in an appeal to ERAC from a
permit-to-install ("PTI") issued by appellee Craig
Butler, Director ("Director") of the Ohio
Environmental Protection Agency ("OEPA"). For the
reasons that follow, we affirm.
I. Facts and Procedural History
2} The Village is located in Athens County, Ohio;
pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement between the
Village and Athens County, the Village agreed to provide
wastewater treatment service to an area defined as the
Greater Albany Service Area, which included properties
outside the Village's corporate limits. The School
District is located in part in Athens County, and a portion
of the School District's property is located outside the
corporate limits of the Village but within the Greater Albany
Service Area. In 2004, the Village enacted sewer use
regulations providing, in relevant part, that no private
sewage disposal system could be constructed in the area
within the jurisdiction of the Village unless no public
sanitary sewer was available. The regulations further
provided that if a public sanitary sewer became available to
a property served by a private sewage disposal system, a
connection would be made to the public sanitary sewer and the
private sewage system would be abandoned. Also in 2004, the
School District undertook renovations at a facility on Ayers
Road and, as part of the renovations, the Village and the
School District entered into an agreement to extend public
sewer lines and install a public sewer tap at that location.
3} In 2010, the Village enacted an ordinance
providing that public sewer taps would not be provided
outside the Village unless the property served by the tap was
annexed into the Village.
4} In 2015, the School District began planning
construction of a wellness center at its Ayers Road facility.
The School District submitted an initial PTI application to
OEPA on August 12, 2015 indicating that the new wellness
center would connect to the public sanitary sewer system. The
Village advised the School District and OEPA that it would
not permit the School District to connect the wellness center
to the public sanitary sewer unless the property was annexed
into the Village. The School District then filed an amended
PTI application with OEPA on February 22, 2016, seeking to
install an on-site sewage treatment system for the wellness
center incorporating a septic tank and leach field. On April
13, 2016, the Director granted the School District a PTI for
the on-site sewage treatment system.
5} The Village filed a notice of appeal of the PTI
with ERAC on May 12, 2016. On November 14, 2016, the School
District filed a motion to dismiss the appeal for lack of
standing. ERAC heard oral argument on the motion on February
15, 2017. On March 22, 2017, ERAC issued a ruling granting
the School District's motion to dismiss, based on its
conclusion that the Village failed to establish that it was
aggrieved or adversely affected by the Director's
issuance of the PTI.
Assignment of Error
6} The Village appeals and assigns the following
single assignment of error for our review:
The Environmental Review Appeals Commission erred in
determined [sic] that the Appellant lacked standing in
bringing its appeal.