An Act Regarding the Sale and Release or Abandonment of Balloons
Sec. 1. 17 MRSA §2263, sub-§1-E is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 17 MRSA §2263, sub-§2, as amended by PL 1995, c. 667, Pt. A, §37, is further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 38 MRSA §1611 is enacted to read:
§ 1611. Balloons
For the purposes of this section, "balloon" has the same meaning as in Title 17, section 2263, subsection 1-E.
This bill amends the State's litter law to provide that a person who releases or abandons a balloon outdoors is subject to penalties under that law regarding the waste materials resulting from that release or abandonment. It also requires a seller of balloons to register with the Department of Environmental Protection and to display in a conspicuous place at each purchase counter warning information developed by the department concerning the risks to the environment and to wildlife posed by waste materials resulting from the outdoor release of balloons; the choking and suffocation risks to children posed by the unsupervised use of balloons; the risks to individuals with latex allergies posed by exposure to balloons made wholly or partly from latex; and the penalties for littering resulting from the outdoor release of balloons that may be imposed by the State's litter laws.
The intent of this legislation is to prevent the release into the environment of balloons that pose a danger and a nuisance to the environment, particularly to wildlife and marine animals, and that cause hardship for the municipalities that must clean up the debris from balloons.