In a recent case of Eurobodalla Fluoride Issues Inc v Eurobodalla Shire Council  NSWLEC 182, the applicant challenged the Council’s fluoridation of the water supply in the local government area. The applicant submitted that in considering whether to install and operate the fluoride dosing facility, the council had breached environmental law under Part 5 of the EPA Act.
Under the Fluoridation Act, the council is also only able to add fluoride to any public water supply with the approval of the Director-General of the Department of Health. Under Part 5 of the act, the council (determining authority) is required to ‘examine and take into account to the fullest extent possible all matters affecting or likely to affect the environment by reason of that activity (s 111(1)). The applicant argued that the council had not adequately addressed environmental law concerning the effects of fluoridation on human health in accordance with their responsibility under s 111.
The court ruled that s 110E provides that s 111 does not apply in respect to an activity that has been approved by another determining authority so as to prevent duplication. The council was not under a responsibility to further address the effects of fluoridation as the Director-General should have already complied with s 111 in their environmental assessment.
The full judgement can be accessed through the following link –http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/nsw/NSWLEC/2014/182.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=title%28Eurobodalla%20Fluoride%20Issues%20Inc%20and%20Eurobodalla%20Shire%20Council%20%29 (link is external)
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