East Bay ASL vs. EEASM Water Case: Consequences of the Council of State Decision

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The recent decision of the Council of State to reject the request of the ASL of Orient Bay requesting the cancellation of the judgment of the COM requiring it to repair the water network located inside the subdivision, is heavy consequences.

After the administrative court and the administrative court of appeal, the Council of State confirms that the maintenance of the water network located inside a private subdivision belongs to the co-owners and not to the COM via its water establishment and sanitation (EEASM).

Local residents will therefore have to pay for the repairs themselves. Expensive work which will undoubtedly weigh on the loads. But Orient Bay is not the only subdivision concerned. There are a number of them in the French part, whose access is controlled like those of Terres Basses or Savanna, or not like those of Mont Vernon, Rambaud or Oyster Pond. They must also ensure maintenance or even change the pipes if necessary, at their expense.

With this decision of the Council of State, the EEASM can now easily justify its instruction given to Saur not to (or no longer) intervene on these sites. "This decision of the highest French administrative jurisdiction which sets precedent, provides a definitive and indisputable answer to a problem of the management of water networks in housing estates which extends beyond those of Orient Bay", comments Dominique Riboud the President of the EEASM. "We will now be able to redefine with ASL managers and in good understanding the framework for the distribution of water and sanitation in housing estates for the benefit of users, public health and financial transparency", agrees he. And to admit: "the decision of the Council of State must be appreciated at its fair value by the entire population of Saint-Martin."

Until recently, the delegatee (GDE or Sogea before) had always graciously maintained the networks of private housing estates. A generosity that the COM or the town hall had never called into question. As long as the network was in good condition.

Finally, in line with the reasoning, rental contracts must be signed between the EEASM and the ASLs concerned to authorize the passage of certain public pipes, in particular waste water, on their land. This is the case at Terres Basses where there is a treatment plant treating the wastewater from Sandy Ground and Baie Nettlé. Or at Orient Bay where there is a refoulement post (Soualigapost).

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