Bioterrorism, Public Health and the Law 
Law 801: Health Care Law Seminar
Professor Vernellia R. Randall

OH ST 3701.34 Public Health Council


Lesson Schedule
00: Intro to the Course
01: Intro to the Problem
02: Public Health System
03: Real Threat?
04: Public Health Law
05: Disease-Reporting
06: Quarantine
07: Model Act
08: Military Presence
09: Health Law Revisited



The public health council shall:

(A) Adopt, and may amend or rescind, sanitary rules to be of general application throughout the state. The sanitary rules shall be known as the sanitary code.

(B) Take evidence in appeals from the decision of the director of health in a matter relative to the approval or disapproval of plans, locations, estimates of cost, or other matters coming before the director for official action. In the hearing of such appeals the director may be represented in person or by the attorney general.

(C) Conduct hearings in cases where the law requires that the department shall give such hearings and reach decisions on the evidence presented, which shall govern subsequent actions of the director with reference thereto;

(D) Prescribe, by rule, the number and functions of divisions and bureaus and the qualifications of chiefs or divisions and bureaus within the department;

(E) Enact and amend bylaws in relation to its meetings and the transaction of its business;

(F) Consider any matter relating to the preservation and improvement of the public health and advise the director thereon with such recommendations as it considers wise.

The council shall neither have nor exercise executive or administrative duties.



Appeals to council 2 Constitutional issues 3 Enforcement 5 Hearings and decisions 1 Rulemaking authority 4 Zoning regulations 6 1. Hearings and decisions

Public health council, under RC 3701.34(C) and 6111.17, is required to conduct hearings in cases where law demands that council shall give such hearings and reach decisions on evidence presented, and council is required to make findings and conclusions and elucidate in writing such decision and basis therefor. Forest Hills Utility Co. v. Gardner (Ohio 1972) 31 Ohio St.2d 78, 285 N.E.2d 378, 60 O.O.2d 50.

2. Appeals to council

The only persons who may appeal to the public health council from a decision of the director of health in a matter relating to the approval or disapproval of plans, locations, estimates of costs or other matters submitted to such board, are persons or officials directly interested and subject to such decisions of the director. 1925 OAG 2770.

3. Constitutional issues

Designation of diseases which require quarantining of persons during the infective stage, adopted by the public health council, is a lawful exercise of the police power and does not violate any constitutional right nor is it a delegation of legislative power. Ex parte Company (Ohio 1922) 106 Ohio St. 50, 139 N.E. 204, 1 Ohio Law Abs. 10, 20 Ohio Law Rep. 426.

4. Rulemaking authority

Prohibition will not lie to challenge the validity of the adoption of regulations by the public health council. Ohio State Federation of Licensed Nursing Homes v. Public Health Council (Ohio 1961) 172 Ohio St. 227, 174 N.E.2d 251, 15 O.O.2d 375.

Regulations adopted by the public health council may prescribe quarantine of certain persons found to have venereal disease in an infective form. Ex parte Company (Ohio 1922) 106 Ohio St. 50, 139 N.E. 204, 1 Ohio Law Abs. 10, 20 Ohio Law Rep. 426.

In the area of sanitation the state of Ohio has exercised preemptive authority to promulgate regulations over the design and specifications of semi-public sewage treatment plants by virtue of RC Ch 6112 and Ch 3701. Security Sewage Equip. Co. v. Beebe (Ohio Com.Pl. 1965) 5 Ohio Misc. 178, 214 N.E.2d 853, 34 O.O.2d 378.

The food establishment regulations of the Ohio sanitary code (HE-22-01 to HE- 22-14), proposed by the director of agriculture and adopted by the public health council, are invalid, because there is no statutory authority for the public health council to promulgate rules governing general sanitation standards for food processing and manufacturing establishments. OAG 75-056.

Under RC 925.01, 913.41 and 913.42, only the director of agriculture has authority to prescribe sanitary regulations for food establishments, other than those regulated under RC 3707.371 to 3707.376 and Ch 3732. OAG 75- 056.

RC 3715.69 does not provide the public health council with authority to prescribe sanitation standards for food establishments. OAG 75-056.

The public health council has authority to adopt reasonable sanitary and health regulations governing the maintenance and operation of maternity hospitals and homes and the conditions on which such licenses may be issued. 1952 OAG 1770.

Public health council of state department of health has authority to adopt regulations establishing maximum allowable concentrations for substances used in industry which are dangerous to public health. 1945 OAG 609.

Department of health may not, by means of regulations adopted by the public health council, establish and maintain a system of registration of births and deaths occurring in this state prior to the effective date of the vital statistics registration law. 1940 OAG 2369.

Such sanitary regulations and rules relating to public health, sanitation and quarantine as may be deemed necessary to protect and preserve the public health and prevent the spread of communicable and other disease applicable generally throughout the state, and especially to and within state owned buildings and property, should be adopted by the public health council, and it is the duty of the state director of health to administer the rules and regulations so adopted. 1940 OAG 1921.

5. Enforcement

Local board of health possesses authority to require that, whenever a sanitary sewerage system becomes accessible to a property, the household sewage disposal system shall be abandoned and the house sewer directly connected to the sewerage system; this authority applies regardless of the manner by which the sanitary sewerage system was constructed. DeMoise v. Dowell (Ohio 1984) 10 Ohio St.3d 92, 461 N.E.2d 1286, 10 O.B.R. 421.

The sanitary regulations adopted by the public health council constitute a minimum standard with which the regulations of city health districts and general health districts must comply, but this does not prevent a city or a general health district from adopting a more stringent regulation when the condition of the public health within the jurisdiction of the board of such district may reasonably be said to require such action. OAG 74-014.

A health commissioner of a general health district is authorized to enforce the sanitary rules and regulations adopted by the public health council and may institute criminal proceedings for violations of such sanitary rules and regulations. 1962 OAG 3343.

Any person suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis in such an active stage that tubercle bacilli are being discharged, who neglects or refuses to isolate himself as required by the sanitary code enacted by the public health council under this section, can be prosecuted for said violation by a local authority and if found guilty, penalized in accordance with GC 4414 (RC 3707.48). 1951 OAG 691.

6. Zoning regulations

The Ohio department of health and public health council have no authority to determine whether a manufactured home park, or the lots within the park, constitute a nonconforming use for purposes of a township or village zoning code. Such determination is within the purview of the township or village that enacted the zoning code. OAG 00-022.

R.C. 3701.34

OH ST 3701.34


Related Pages:
Home ] Up ] OH ST 3701.02 Department of Health ] OH ST 3701.03 Duties of Director ] OH ST 3701.13 Powers of Dept of Health ] OH ST 3701.24 Reporting Diseases ] [ OH ST 3701.34 Public Health Council ] OH ST 3701-35 Regulations ] OH ST 3701.56 Enforcement ] OH ST 3701.81 Spreading Contagion ] OH ST 3709-20 Regulations by City Health District ] OH ST 3709-21 Regulation by General Health District ]
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Previous Pages:
Home ] Public Health System Core Functions and the Law ] The Legal Advice of Rumpole the Malevolent ] The Power to Protect the Public Health ] The Current Status of State Public Health Law ] Legal Basis for Large-Scale Quarantine ] The Evolution of Public Health Regulation ] Public Health Practices in the Colonial and Federalist Periods ] Ohio State Statutes ] Selected Ohio Cases ] Ex parte Company ] Application re Halko ] Bioterrorism and Public Health Law: the Critical Choices ] Biological Terrorism and Legal Measures ] Legal Authority and Health Disparities ]
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