House Bill #5376 (2021)

AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- BALLOONS

Prohibits the intentional simultaneous release of ten (10) or more balloons inflated with lighter-than-air gas.

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Changes since original draft

  • 2021 – H 5376
  • 2021 – H 5376 SUBSTITUTE A
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  • LC001103
  • LC001103/SUB A/2
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  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2021
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY – BALLOONS
  • Introduced By: Representatives Donovan, Carson, Speakman, Cortvriend, Caldwell,
  • Kislak, Handy, Ruggiero, McEntee, and Bennett
  • Date Introduced: February 05, 2021
  • Referred To: House Judiciary
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Title 23 of the General Laws entitled "HEALTH AND SAFETY" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
  • CHAPTER 95
  • PROHIBITED RELEASE OF BALLOONS
  • 23-95-1. Legislative findings.
  • (a) It is hereby found and declared as follows:
  • (1) That the release of balloons inflated with lighter-than-air gases pose a danger and nuisance to the environment, particularly to wildlife and marine animals;
  • (2) That many animals are attracted to the bright colors of balloons and mistake them for food which may cause an animal severe injury or death;
  • (3) That many animals have become entangled in balloon strings and are injured or strangled to death as a result thereof.
  • (b) The general assembly has determined that prohibiting the release of balloons inflated with lighter-than-air gases, statewide, is the most effective means of achieving a significant reduction in balloon debris and the environmental harm this debris causes.
  • 23-95-2. Prohibited practices.
  • (a) No person or entity shall intentionally release, intentionally organize the release of, or otherwise intentionally cause the release of a balloon inflated with a gas that is lighter than air, except for:
  • (a) No person or entity shall intentionally release, intentionally organize the release of, or otherwise intentionally cause the simultaneous release of ten (10) or more balloons inflated with a gas that is lighter than air, except for:
  • (1) A balloon released for scientific or meteorological purposes, on behalf of a governmental agency or pursuant to a governmental contract;
  • (2) A hot air balloon that is recovered after launching; or
  • (3) A balloon that is released and remains indoors.
  • 23-95-3. Penalties.
  • Any person or entity who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars ($500) for each offense. The release of multiple balloons at one time shall be considered a single offense for the purposes of this section.
  • Any person or entity who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) for a first offense and up to two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for a second or subsequent offense.
  • 23-95-4. Regulations.
  • The department of environmental management shall promulgate rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement and carry out the provisions of this chapter.
  • SECTION 2. This act shall take effect on November 1, 2021.
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  • LC001103
  • LC001103/SUB A/2
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  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY – BALLOONS
  • ***
  • This act would prohibit the intentional release of a balloon inflated with lighter-than-air gas. The prohibition would not apply to: a balloon released for scientific or metrological purposes on behalf of a governmental agency or pursuant to a governmental contract; a hot air balloon that is recovered after launching; or a balloon that is released and remains indoors. A person or entity that violates this provision would be subject to a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars ($500) for each offense. The release of multiple balloons at one time would be considereda single offense.
  • This act would take effect on November 1, 2021. ======== LC001103 ========
  • This act would prohibit the intentional simultaneous release of ten (10) or more balloons inflated with lighter-than-air gas. The prohibition would not apply to: a balloon released for scientific or metrological purposes on behalf of a governmental agency or pursuant to a governmental contract; a hot air balloon that is recovered after launching; or a balloon that is released and remains indoors. A person or entity who violates this provision would be subject to a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) for a first offense and up to two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for a second or subsequent offense.
  • This act would take effect on November 1, 2021. ======== LC001103/SUB A/2 ========

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