Fluoride issue at Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority going to court
The state Health Department’s decision about fluoridation of a local water system could now be heading to Boone County Circuit Court.
The Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority board is set to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at Valley Springs City Hall and board chairman Andy Anderson is expected to address the fluoridation issue again.
Anderson and other authority officials appeared before the Health Department’s Administrative Board in late March to appeal Act 197, which requires all water systems with more than 5,000 customers to fluoridate water.
The authority argued that it technically sells water to 18 water systems and none of those individual systems have 5,000 customers, so it should be excused from fluoridation requirements.
But that Administrative Board didn’t agree and said the authority was not in compliance with the law, and even threatened to fine the authority $500 a week if it didn’t comply.
Anderson went to the full Health Department board meeting in late July, he said.
He had hoped to remind that board about the contaminants in the fluoridation chemicals, the problems those chemicals cause, and also make sure they were aware that Act 197 was passed because of fraudulent information, Anderson said in an email.
Anderson also maintains that fluoridation may reduce equipment life by up to 40 percent. In addition, he said the authority’s customers and their customers have indicated that they do not want fluoride in their water. Some have even said that if fluoride is added, they will pull out of the water system.
But Anderson said he wasn’t even allowed to speak and the full Health Department board rubber stamped the Administrative Board’s decision.
Now, Anderson said, the authority plans to appeal the last decision to Boone County Circuit Court
At its December meeting, the authority board was told that legal costs would be about $12,500. It was agreed that each local water system would pay its share of the costs.
But, Anderson said this week that although each water system is asked to contribute $695 toward legal expenses, those systems have contributed just $5,565 and legal costs to date are over $7,100.