The State College Borough Water Authority has received a report from one of its committees concerning the continued addition of fluoride to the drinking water. The committee examined peer-reviewed scientific information concerning utility of fluoride use. Within our region, neither Bellefonte nor College Township water systems fluoridate the water.
A series of slides summarizing the review can be found at www.scbwa.org/document-form/fluoride-presentation-may-19-2022. The presentation contains a link to the National Research Council’s study on Fluoridation in Drinking Water. A list of noteworthy references is provided at the end of the presentation. The public is encouraged to review the information.
At this point, the board has not made a decision. The default option is simply to continue fluoridation. Over the next several weeks the board members and staff will be reviewing the presentation and other data available concerning fluoridation. After examining the data and comments supplied by the public, the board may vote at its June or July meeting to either proceed with submitting an application to amend its drinking water permit to discontinue fluoridation or to continue fluoridation unabated.
In Pennsylvania, water systems that fluoridate do so under a permit by the PA DEP (see: www.dep.pa.gov/Citizens/My-Water/PublicDrinkingWater/Pages/Fluoride.aspx.). The complete removal of water fluoridation is considered a substantial modification to the permit and requires a permit amendment which must be approved by the state. According to the Department of Environment Protection, public water systems that are contemplating the removal of water fluoridation must adhere to the following:
• “Water suppliers shall provide advance notice to consumers and medical professionals of the decision to cease operation of fluoridation treatment. Evidence of this notice must be included in the permit application.
• Any operation permit approving the cessation of fluoridation will include a special condition to require public notification before addition is stopped.
• A supplier that removes fluoridation should also take the opportunity in the next annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) to remind customers of the date that fluoridation was discontinued.”
The board is currently considering various options; no decision has been made. It is the aim of the board to make its intentions known before or at its July meeting. If the board decides to discontinue fluoridation, it will then follow the notification and amendment requirements of the PA DEP. These are detailed in DEP’s guidance entitled: “Proposals to Add or Remove Fluoridation Treatment by a Community Water System” (DEP 383-2125-001) (PDF).
The State College Borough Water Authority meets at 4 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month.
Jeff Kern is the chairperson of the State College Borough Water Authority.
*Original article online at https://www.centredaily.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article262168007.html