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Jun 12, 2019 10:30 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Holds First Public Hearing On Balloon Ban

Jun 12, 2019 11:21 AM

The first public hearing on a proposed ban of the intentional release of balloons in Southampton Town took place at the Southampton Town Board meeting on Tuesday, with only a few people speaking and showing their support for the measure.

The town has proposed legislation that would make it unlawful to release most types of balloons, including latex, Mylar or rubber, that can be filled with helium, hydrogen or other gases and used as a toy or decoration. The goal is to protect the environment and reduce pollution.

Exceptions to the rule would include balloons released into the atmosphere with scientific instruments and hot air balloons. Balloons would also be permitted to be released indoors, though they must be disposed of properly in private garbage bins, public and commercial bins or designated areas like the town transfer station.

Anyone caught releasing balloons intentionally could face a fine of up to $1,000, as many as 15 days in jail, or both.

“I think it’s an important stake in the ground,” Sustainability Committee member Lynn Arthur told board members on Tuesday. “It’s really important to put a stake in the ground.”

She said the issue was discussed within the committee, and while she supports the ban, others said the prohibited intentional release of balloons is not enough.

“We feel it’s the first step,” Glorian Berk told board members.

Ms. Berk is a member of the Sustainability Committee as well, and suggested tougher measures, including not selling balloons in the town.

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Wait for 4th July, the balloon police will be out in force, undercover too.
A great idea that is hard to enforce. Hate to see a total ban on balloons.
I totally agree that released balloons is terrible for our oceans and just look terrible on our beaches and caught in trees.
By knitter (1858), Southampton on Jun 12, 19 1:49 PM
Come on knitter, balloons (other than weather & hot air) are completely useless and pointless. Sure, they can be kinda fun for decorations at events, but then they instantly become trash. We need to stop making things that immediately become garbage after we use them once, good riddance to balloons. They are stupid. There. I said it.
By Enviro Guy (44), Southampton on Jun 13, 19 12:07 PM
Every single day I pick balloons out of the bay and beach. They are killing wildlife. Helium filled balloons are treacherous and serve little purpose. My grandkids have never received a helium filled balloon in their lives, and they are fine with it -because they pick them off the beach too. The ban will send a clear message to those who already don't know the danger.
By Bayman (55), Hampton Bays on Jun 13, 19 3:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
we pick up a dozen or so mylar balloons EVERY TIME we take a trip offshore! Just plain ignorant to release them intentionally.
By bigfresh (4546), north sea on Jun 13, 19 4:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
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