Out of air: Town of Hempstead looks to ban intentional release of balloons

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Another Long Island town is looking to ban the intentional release of balloons. 

The Hempstead Town supervisor and environmental activists announced the plan and challenged the concept of "biodegradable" balloons. Environmentalists say balloons can hurt, entangle and even kill marine life. 

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen plans to discuss the proposed legislation at the next board meeting in October.

"Because we now know that biodegradable balloons, while somewhat better for the environment than the old balloons, can still take several years to decompose - long enough to wreak havoc on the wildlife that ingest them along the South Shore of Long Island," says Gillen.

Town officials say the proposed law would target large balloon releases at parties or weddings, not the accidental release of a balloon by a child.

If passed, Hempstead would join other municipalities on the Island, including Long Beach, that banned intentional balloon releases.  

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