The Clearfield Municipal Authority decided at its meeting last week that it will continue to add fluoride to its water after being threatened with lawsuits from the Pennsylvania Dental Association and a local dentist if it stops fluoridation.
Last December the CMA board voted to ask the state Department of Environmental Protection for permission to stop adding fluoride to its water. CMA made the request at the time because it is in the process of bringing the Moose Creek Reservoir back on line and wanted to know if it would have to add fluoride to the water at Moose Creek. CMA manager Jeff Williams said CMA never added fluoride to the water at Moose Creek prior to it going offline in 1991.
Mr. Williams said the actual request to remove fluoride from the water never made it to the DEP because it was going to be included it in its applications to DEP for the Moose Creek Reservoir.
However, after the report on the December meeting appeared in the newspaper, Mr. Williams said, the Pennsylvania Dental Association contacted him on the issue and threatened to sue if CMA followed through on it.
Although there are other public water systems in the state that do not add fluoride to their water, CMA is the only one that does that has ever asked to stop, and the dental association threatened to sue CMA, Mr. Williams and all of the board members personally if they went through with the plan to remove fluoride from the water, Mr. Williams said.
So the CMA board decided it wasn’t worth the expense of fighting off litigation and decided to continue to add the fluoride to water.
Before the CMA could have removed fluoride from its water, DEP requires there be a 30-day comment period. Mr. Williams said CMA was going to use this time period to let the public decide whether the water should be fluoridated.
“But I guess the Pennsylvania Dental Association made the decision for them,” Mr. Williams.
The Pennsylvania Dental Association did not respond to The Progress’ request for an interview.
In other business, Mr. Williams said the CMA board voted to go out for bids for the construction of the filtration plant at the Moose Creek Reservoir.
CMA received a low-interest loan of approximately $3 million from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority for the project, but CMA Engineer Mark Glenn said as it is now designed the plant could cost approximately $6 million. Once the bids are in and the cost of the project is known, CMA can pair back the project to the point where the cost is closer to the financing package CMA received from PENNVEST, Mr. Williams said.