Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority v. Arkansas Attorney General
Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority v. Arkansas Attorney General (Arkansas Court of Appeals Division III, March 18, 2020): The Arkansas Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Boone County Circuit Court that the Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority (Ozark) was subject to Arkansas Code Annotated § 20-7-136 (Act 197), which was not unconstitutionally vague. The Arkansas Department of Health issued an order and notice of hearing in February 2016 in response to Ozark’s failure to implement a fluoridation program pursuant to Act 197. Ozark argued it did not qualify as a “water system,” and thus the Act’s mandatory fluoridation requirement did not apply. Ozark also argued that Act 197 was vague and unconstitutional as applied. Following a 2016 hearing, the Arkansas Board of Health issued an order stating Act 197 did apply to Ozark and rejected Ozark’s constitutional challenge. Ozark petitioned for judicial review. The Boone County Circuit Court found substantial evidence supported the Board’s decision and affirmed. On appeal, the court found Ozark met the definition of water system under the plain and unambiguous language of Act 197, noting it was precluded from ruling on Ozark’s constitutional objection because the Circuit Court did not issue a specific ruling on the challenge. Read the decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – May 1, 2020.