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EPA Denies Anti-Fluoride Petition

The EPA rejected a petition in August 2013 seeking to ban a form of fluoride that is commonly used to fluoridate drinking water, noting that petitioners lacked “sufficient facts” to support their case.

Tennessee Law Requires Public Notice

A Tennessee law enacted in 2012 requires local water systems to provide a minimum period of public notification before ceasing or starting fluoridation.

City of Canton v. Whitman

Case Name: 
City of Canton v. Whitman
Plaintiff: 
City of Canton
Defendant: 
Whitman
Citation: 

44 Ohio St. 2d 62; 337 N.E.2d 766 (Ohio 1975)

Year: 
1975
Court Name: 
Supreme Court of Ohio
Abstract: 

The City of Canton challenged the Ohio Director of Environmental Protection ‘s order directing the city to begin fluoridating its water, as required by state law. The city argued that the state did not have the authority to require it to fluoridate a municipally-owned-and-operated water supply, and that the state law mandating fluoridation was not a valid exercise of state police power. The Supreme Court of Ohio rejected plaintiffs’ claims, holding that fluoridation was a proper subject for the exercise of the state police power, and that the state mandate did not unreasonably restrict, limit, or otherwise interfere with the operation of a municipal utility.

Case Tags: 
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Opinion Judges: 
Stern

Brown v. City of Canton

Case Name: 
Brown v. City of Canton
Plaintiff: 
Brown
Defendant: 
City of Canton
Citation: 

64 Ohio St. 2d 182; 414 N.E.2d 412 (Ohio 1980)

Year: 
1980
Court Name: 
Supreme Court of Ohio
Abstract: 

The Ohio Attorney General brought this action in the Ohio Court of Appeals seeking a writ of mandamus directing the City of Canton to comply with the Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s order requiring the city to fluoridate its water system as mandated by state statute. The court of appeals denied the writ on the basis that it did not have original jurisdiction over the matter, finding that appellants had an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law because the state fluoridation statute authorized the attorney general to bring an action for an injunction. The Ohio Supreme Court disagreed with the court of appeals, finding that a mandatory injunction is an extraordinary remedy rather than a plain and adequate remedy. The supreme court reversed the court of appeals and issued a writ of mandamus to force the city to comply with the order to fluoridate.

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Board of Co. Comm. Ottawa County v. Marblehead

Case Name: 
Board of Co. Comm. Ottawa County v. Marblehead
Plaintiff: 
Board of County Commissioners of Ottawa County
Defendant: 
Village of Marblehead et al.
Citation: 

86 Ohio St. 3d 43; 711 N.E.2d 663 (Ohio 1999)

Year: 
1999
Court Name: 
Supreme Court of Ohio
Abstract: 

This case does not deal with a fluoridation challenge, but it cites to Canton v. Whitman 44 Ohio St.2d 62, 337 N.E.2d 766 (Ohio 1975) for the proposition that a statute enacted to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the public can override the municipality’s authority if the statute does not substantially interfere with the municipality’s constitutionally granted power. The action deals with a dispute between a municipality and a county sewer district that both wanted to provide water service to a disputed area. The Ohio Supreme Court upheld a statute that enabled established county sewer districts to complete existing county water service projects when territory within the project area acquires municipality status through annexation during the pendency of the county project.

Case Tags: 
State: 
Opinion Judges: 
Cook J

Alkire v. Cashman

Case Name: 
Alkire v. Cashman
Plaintiff: 
Jack Alkire
Defendant: 
Dr. John W. Cashman
Citation: 

350 F. Supp. 360 (S.D. Ohio 1972)

Year: 
1972
Court Name: 
United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division
Abstract: 

The State of Ohio adopted legislation requiring that all public waterworks systems serving more than 5,000 persons fluoridate their water supplies by a certain deadline. After the deadline had passed, the City of Columbus adopted two ordinances that provided for fluoridation of the municipal water supply. Plaintiffs brought an action in federal district court against the city, arguing that the state legislation the ordinances sought to comply with was unconstitutional because it: (1) distinguished unfairly between large and small water suppliers, in violation of equal protection and (2) infringed on the contractual rights of their respective communities. The city defended on the grounds that its fluoridation ordinances were promulgated independent of the state law mandate, and that under the doctrine of home rule, the city had the right to fluoridate its water supplies. The court upheld the city’s ordinances, holding that they were valid under either plaintiffs’ or defendants’ theories. The court further rejected plaintiffs’ argument that the distinction between small and large water suppliers was an equal protection violation, holding that there was no violation of contractual rights because political checks, in the form of a referendum, were available to citizens who wanted to remove themselves from the legislation’s coverage.

Case Tags: 
State: 
Opinion Judges: 
Rubin CB
Attach File: 

Yiamouyiannis v. Consumers Union of the United States

Case Name: 
Yiamouyiannis v. Consumers Union of the United States
Plaintiff: 
John Yiamouyiannis
Defendant: 
Consumers Union of the United States, Inc.
Citation: 

619 F.2d 932 (2d Cir. 1980)

Year: 
1980
Court Name: 
United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
Abstract: 

Although this case is not a fluoridation challenge, it contains a good discussion of the scientific community’s attitudes towards fluoridation. Plaintiff, a renowned opponent of fluoridation, brought a libel suit against defendant for two articles defendant published, attacking as misleading and erroneous the claims made by certain individuals (including plaintiff) that fluoridation causes cancer, birth defects, and other ills. The court found that plaintiff was a public figure subject to the “actual malice” standard. The court upheld the trial court’s grant of summary judgment, holding that plaintiff failed to show the defendant’s statements were published with actual malice.

State: 

Village of Tully v. Harris

Case Name: 
Village of Tully v. Harris
Plaintiff: 
Village of Tully et al.
Defendant: 
William A. Harris, Onondaga County Commissioner of Health
Citation: 

119 A.D.2d 7; 504 N.Y.S.2d 591 (N.Y. App. Div. 1986)

Year: 
1986
Court Name: 
Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Abstract: 

Plaintiffs, the Village of Tully and the Village of Baldwinsville in New York, appealed the trial court’s judgments dismissing their petitions to annul orders of the Commissioner of Health of Onondaga County, New York, requiring fluoridation of their public water supplies. The orders stated that, before adding fluoride compounds, a public water supplier must make written application to and receive approval from the New York Commissioner of Health. They directed each village to follow certain procedures set out in the Onondaga County Sanitary Code. Plaintiffs argued that the county’s charter, which pertained to the creation and administration of the county health district and department of health as well as the county sanitary code, was inconsistent with the New York Public Health Law and thus was null and void. The court found that, although the county did not adhere strictly to the Public Health Law’s guidelines for the establishment and organization of county health districts, the county’s charter and sanitary code were proper and superseded the Public Health Law under the Home Rule provision of the New York Constitution. The court affirmed the trial court’s judgment dismissing plaintiffs’ claims.

Case Tags: 
State: 
Opinion Judges: 
Schnepp

Hacker v. Common Council of City of Ithaca

Case Name: 
Hacker v. Common Council of City of Ithaca
Plaintiff: 
Andrew Hacker
Defendant: 
Common Council of the City of Ithaca et al.
Citation: 

49 Misc. 2d 69; 266 N.Y.S.2d 927 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1966)

Year: 
1966
Court Name: 
Supreme Court of New York, Tompkins County
Abstract: 

Plaintiff brought an action seeking to invalidate a city charter amendment approved by a majority of voters to prohibit fluoridation of the City of Ithaca’s water supply. The amendment was submitted to the electorate after the Common Council of the City of Ithaca adopted a resolution to fluoridate the city’s water. Plaintiff argued that the submission of the proposed law to the electorate was not in truth a charter amendment, but an attempt by the electorate to nullify resolutions of the Common Council and to legislate in a field within which the electorate was not authorized to assert control directly. Defendants argued, and the court agreed that, under the Municipal Home Rule Law, the local law prohibiting fluoridation was a valid amendment to the Ithaca City Charter. The court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment.

State: 
Opinion Judges: 
Zeller HA

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Recent State and Local Action

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Missouri :: Ordinance :: Sullivan

Abstract: 

Sullivan's City Council passed Ordiance 3667, eliminating the city's fluoridation requirement, repealing Sullivan Code 705.050. 

See also James B. Bartle, Fluoridation Repealed In Sullivan, Three Ordinances Approved, Sullivan Independent News (June 2, 2015), available at http://www.mysullivannews.com/2015/06/fluoridation-repealed-in-sullivan-....

 

Last updated: June 19, 2015.  

 

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Michigan :: Ordinance :: West Branch

Abstract: 

On June 1, 2015, West Branch City Counsel voted 6-1 to increase water fluoridation levels to the state and Federal recommended 0.7 ppm. See Matt Varcak, "City votes to increase level of fluoride in the water," Ogemaw County Herald (June 1, 2015), available at http://www.ogemawherald.com/stories/City-votes-to-increase-level-of-fluoride-in-water,101683.   

 

Last updated June 19, 2015.

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New York :: Administrative Code

Abstract: 

The additions to the New York Public Health Code prevent jurisdictions already participating in water fluoridation from ceasing their program without first providing a notice to the public and a ninety-day comment period.

Citation: 

NY PUB HEALTH § 1100–a

Date Adopted: 
Mon, 04/13/2015
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West Virginia :: Local Authority :: Clarksburg

Abstract: 

Clarksburg, WV has voted to take bids for all of its water treatment chemicals save for fluoride, essentially ending water fluoridation in the jurisdiction.  See http://wvmetronews.com/2015/05/11/clarksburg-water-board-votes-to-end-practice-of-fluoridation/.  The Water Board has decided to continue to discuss the issue even after not voting to fund any fluoride contracts. See http://www.theet.com/news/local/water-board-to-resume-discussions-about-fluoride/article_4000700a-30b8-5d34-a8db-bb29463c472c.html

Last Updated: May 19, 2015

Michigan :: Ogemaw County :: Consideration

Abstract: 

The West Branch (Michigan) city counsel will consider whether to add fluoride to its water supply in the near future.  See http://ogemawherald.com/stories/City-to-consider-adding-additional-fluor....

 

Last updated: April 10, 2015.  

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