Fluoride hearing delayed by PUD concerns

Peninsula News Network


Port Angeles, WA - Forces in the fluoride fight will have to wait for the next round of the debate before the Port Angeles city council, with an appeal hearing for a key permit postponed.

The last time the fluoride debate came before the city council, back in February, it turned out to be one of the longest hearings the panel had seen in years. For more than 4 hours, fluoride supporters and opponents railed at the council with arguments on both sides of the “chemicals in water debate”. And that was before fluoride opponents had organized.

The council decided to fluoridate the water. But the permit giving the environmental clearance for the project ran into an appeal from fluoride opponents.

The council had been boning up on the fluoride issue and getting ready for a lengthy appeal hearing this coming week.

But now, the question of whether fluoridated water can also be piped to Clallam County PUD customers living outside the city limits has forced that hearing to be postponed until after the first of the year. PUD purchases water from the city for some its customers living around Port Angeles. PUD commissioners haven’t endorsed the fluoridation move, and want more information about how the fluoride could help, or hurt their customers.

So city officials have decided to postpone next week’s hearing to allow staff more time to research the questions. That may have an impact on the issue with two new council members taking office at the end of this month.

When fluoridation was approved last February, the city had expected to begin adding fluoride by the end of this year.


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