CHAPTER 276

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 247

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENTS NO. 1, 2, 3 AND 4

AND SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 2

AN ACT TO AMEND SUBCHAPTER II, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE DIVISION OF PHYSICAL HEALTH, AND REQUIRING A LOCAL REFERENDUM BEFORE THE FLUORIDATION OF A WATER SUPPLY.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Amend Subchapter II, Chapter 1, Title 16 of the Delaware Code, by re-designating present §124 as new §12b, and re-designating all subsequent sections accordingly.

Section 2. Amend Subchapter II, Chapter 1, Part I, Title 16 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new §124, which shall read as follows:

§124. Fluoridation of a water supply

The Division of Physical Health shall not require any water supply to be fluoridated which has not been fluoridated before the effective date of this act until approval of such fluoridation is first obtained in the following manner by the users of such water supply:

(a) When the Division determines that it is in the best interest of the users of a given water supply that such supply shall be fluoridated, it shall notify the administrator, owner, or person who controls the water supply and the local government which it serves. Within sixty days from the receipt of such notice, the governing body of the majority of people involved shall conduct a referendum among the people served by the water supply to determine whether or not such fluoridation shall take place. Prior to any such referendum the Division shall conduct an educational program in the community affected on the fluoridation process. The costs of the referendum shall be borne by the said governing body.

(b) Notice of the referendum shall be by the publication of a formal Notice embodying the notice received from the Division. Such notice shall be published at least three times in a newspaper of general circulation in the area served by the water supply, the last publication to be at least three days before the referendum. Such notice shall also include the time and place of voting for the various voting districts involved.

(c) Eligible voters at such referendum shall be any natural person who uses the water supply daily and who is eighteen years of age or older. Each such person shall be entitled to one vote.

(d) If the area serviced by the water supply has an established local government such government shall conduct the referendum. If two or more towns or municipalities are served by the water supply, the referendum shall be conducted simultaneously in each town or municipality by the governing body of that town or municipality. If the governing body is a county and not a town or municipality, the county shall be responsible for all costs of the referendum. The Department of Elections shall conduct the referendum. The referendum shall be by secret ballot and the choice for each voter shall be "For Fluoridation" and "Against Fluoridation". The water supply shall not be fluoridated if the majority of the ballots cast are against fluoridation.

() After a referendum is held, the matter shall be deemed to have been conclusively decided for a period of three years from the date of the referendum.

(a) The provisions of this Act shall apply to any municipality within this State that has held a referendum on the question of fluoridation within the last three years commencing from the date of the enactment of this Act. Those municipalities that have voted not to fluoridate shall not be required to do so, except as provided by this Act.

Approved March 26, 1974.