Around New England

Ban Balloons, State Rep Says

October 16, 2019

A bill before the Massachusetts Legislature would ban selling or releasing a balloon, on pain of a $100 fine.

Balloon opponents say they harm the environment and wildlife. Supporters say they’re fun.

State Representative Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown) is the lead sponsor of Massachusetts House Bill 843.

It states:

SECTION 1. Chapter 131 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 official edition, is hereby amended by adding the following new section:

Section 119. The sale, distribution and release of any type of balloon, including, but not limited to, plastic, latex or mylar, filled with any type of lighter than air gas, both for public or private use, is hereby prohibited. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) balloons released by or on behalf of any agency of the commonwealth or the United States for scientific or meteorological purposes, or (ii) hot air balloons that are recovered after launch.

The bill follows restrictions in a handful of towns in Massachusetts.

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