Suffolk County legislators consider ban on balloon releasesPosted: Updated:
It could soon become illegal to release balloons into the sky in all of Suffolk County.
Suffolk County legislators held a public hearing on the issue Tuesday afternoon in Hauppauge's legislature building's auditorium. They say the move would help protect the environment and prevent pollution.
The ban would make it illegal to intentionally release any balloon that is lighter than air, such as a helium balloon. It would also include fines of up to $1,000.
Currently, there is a 25 balloon-release limit.
Environmentalists testified that marine life can become entangled or die because of ingesting balloons that have dropped into bodies of water.
Legislator Sarah Anker, who sponsored the bill, says thousands of balloons that are released on Long Island end up in the waterways and litter the coastline.
Sweeties Candy Cottage, a party supply shop in Huntington, no longer sells balloons for celebrations. Owner Lisa Hodes says she has sold thousands of balloons in the past 20 years but felt it was environmentally responsible to stop selling them.
East Hampton Town and Long Beach already ban the release of balloons.
Parents whose children accidentally release a balloon would be exempt from fines.
A vote on the balloon ban law is scheduled for sometime in the early fall.
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