RS 40:5.11     

§5.11. Water fluoridation program; Fluoridation Advisory Board

            A. The secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health shall establish in the office of public health a fluoridation program for the purpose of protecting the dental health of the citizens of this state, and especially children, through the prevention of tooth decay.

            B.(1) Each public water system that has at least five thousand service connections and natural levels of fluoride that are outside the optimal range established in the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this Section shall acquire, install, operate and maintain appropriate equipment and material in order to maintain the level of fluoride in its water system in the optimal range for the purpose of protecting the dental health of citizens of this state, as established in the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this Section.

            (2) Each public water system with at least five thousand service connections that has fluoride levels outside the optimal range established in the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this Section shall provide to the Louisiana Department of Health no later than March 1, 2009, an estimate of the total capital costs to acquire and install fluoridation treatment equipment capable of maintaining fluoride levels within the optimal range for the purpose of protecting the dental health of citizens of this state, as established in the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this Section.

            (3) No public water system shall be required to comply with Paragraph (1) of this Subsection unless sufficient funds have been identified by the state, whether by appropriation, capital outlay, grants or similar means or source of funds, as available to that system for the cost of acquiring and installing fluoridation equipment and the cost of material required to fluoridate said system for at least six months from the date of initial installation.

            (4) A public water system that has never used fluoridation to adjust fluoride levels in its water and whose water contains fluoride in amounts outside the range established in the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this Section as optimal for the purpose of protecting the dental health of the citizenry shall be exempt from compliance with Paragraph (1) of this Subsection provided all of the following apply:

            (a) A petition requesting the exemption has been signed by at least fifteen percent of the registered voters who reside in the precincts served by said water system, as certified by the parish registrar of voters, and has been presented to the governing authority of each municipality or parish in whose jurisdiction the system provides service.

            (b) A local election has been called on the exemption after the petition has been received by each governing authority pursuant to Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph. Participation in the election shall be limited to those precincts in which the water system provides service. The local election shall be called and conducted by the governing authority of each municipality in whose jurisdiction the water system provides service if all of the registered voters served by the water system reside wholly within the jurisdiction of one or more municipalities. However, the local election shall instead be called and conducted by the governing authority of each parish in whose jurisdiction the water system provides service if either of the following applies:

            (i) The water system also provides service to registered voters in unincorporated areas of one or more parishes.

            (ii) The water system was created or franchised by the parish or parishes.

            (c) Each local election pertaining to the exemption of said water system has been held in accordance with state and local law, and the certified results of each election show that a majority of the registered voters who cast a vote in said election approve exemption.

            (d) No election on the same question in the same jurisdiction took place in the four years immediately prior to the election in which the exemption was approved.

            C. There is hereby created within the Louisiana Department of Health, office of public health, the Fluoridation Advisory Board, which shall consist of the following members appointed by the governor, to serve at his pleasure, upon recommendation of the Louisiana Dental Association, and confirmation by the Senate:

            (1) A practicing dentist from each of the nine administrative regions of the Louisiana Department of Health.

            (2) A representative of the Maternal and Child Health Coalition.

            (3) A representative of the Louisiana State Medical Society.

            (4) A representative of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

            (5) A state licensed dental hygienist.

            (6) A representative of the Louisiana Rural Water Association.

            D.(1) The Fluoridation Advisory Board shall assist any public water system with at least five thousand service connections to obtain funding for fluoridation of its system by seeking all sources of funding, including but not limited to the following:

            (a) Federal and state grants.

            (b) Donations from private foundations.

            (c) Donations from local businesses.

            (2) The board shall assist the director of the state oral health program within the office of public health in educating the public on matters regarding dental health and the prevention of tooth decay.

            (3) The board shall act in an advisory capacity to the fluoridation program and is authorized to make recommendations regarding the management, administration, and operation of the program.

            E.(1) The board shall adopt bylaws for its own procedure.

            (2) The members of the board shall not receive compensation for their services but shall be entitled to reimbursement for expenses, including travel expenses, to attend official in-state board meetings at the rate for state employees established by the commissioner of administration.

            F. The Louisiana Department of Health, office of public health, shall provide administrative and technical assistance to the board.

            G. The office of public health, through the department, shall promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act relating to the fluoridation of public water systems, including but not limited to maintaining levels of flouride in public water systems within the optimal range for the purpose of protecting the oral health of the citizens of this state.

             Acts 1997, No. 908, §2; Acts 1999, No. 802, §5, eff. July 2, 1999; Acts 2008, No. 761, §1, eff. July 6, 2008.