Fluoride Action Network

Bellefonte Council to appeal DEP’s fluoride decision

Source: Centre Daily Times | November 17th, 2015 | By Shawn Annarelli

The borough authority’s decision to discontinue fluoridating the water system could be foiled by the council that appointed the authority to power.

Council voted 5-3 Monday to appeal, as a body, the state Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to permit the authority’s decision.

Council members Randy Brachbill, Renee Brown, Gay Dunne, Karen Harvey and council President Frank Halderman voted yes, and council members Joseph Beigle, Barry Spicer and Brian Walker voted no. Council member Paul DeCusati was excused from attending.

Spicer and Walker explained after council’s regularly scheduled meeting that they felt a decision should be made by the public by way of referendum, not by council or the authority. Beigle declined comment.

Dunne and Harvey will write the council’s appeal.

Residents Robert Huffard and Deb Smith separately appealed DEP’s Oct. 7 decision.

“The public was not informed about the justification to discontinue fluoridation of the Bellefonte water supply until the public hearing (on Nov. 2),” Huffard said in the appeal. “This has left little time for appeal or to address the reasons for this (decision).”

Smith argued a number of reasons why the process should be discontinued, including that the authority is not made up of publicly elected officials, though two on council, Halderman and Beigle, were appointed by council.

She also argued that the community supports fluoridation and that science supports the benefits.

Council also discussed …