Maryland county considers bill to outlaw balloon releases

CENTREVILLE, Md. (AP) — Lawmakers of a Maryland county are considering a bill that would outlaw balloon releases and impose a $250 fine on those who ignore the mandate.

The Capital reports the bill was introduced to the Queen Anne’s County Board of Commissioners last week by Commissioner Christopher Corchiarino, who says releasing balloons is littering. The bill wouldn’t penalize accidental releases or those done by government agencies.

The bill is backed by the Queen Anne’s Conservation Association. The association’s executive director, Jay Falstad, says creatures often mistake non-biodegradable balloons as food or get fatally trapped and wounded by balloon ribbons. Local farmers say loose balloons also cause problems on their lands, with the items scaring animals and getting wrapped around equipment.

The commissioners are set to hold a hearing on bill next month.

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Information from: The Capital, http://www.capitalgazette.com/

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