AUGUSTA – A proposed
change in state law (L.D. 937) put forward by Rep. Mick Devin (D – Newcastle) would
strictly regulate the sale and use of balloons and levy a fine of up to $250
for releasing or “abandoning” a balloon.
The bill would impose a new regulation on any business or individual that sells balloon, requiring them to register as a “seller of balloons” with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
The bill also would require those newly registered “sellers of balloons” to display written warnings about the dangers of balloons provided to them by Maine DEP.
It is unclear if Maine DEP will need to hire new balloon regulatory staff to handle the work load created by this bill, or if existing DEP regulators will be charged with patrolling convenience stores and county fairs to monitor any unlicensed sales or unintentional balloon releases.
The bill summary says the reason for the bill is to protect the environment and to assist municipalities who are burdened with the “hardship” of cleaning up balloon debris.