Montgomery County approves bill prohibiting outdoor release of helium-filled latex, mylar balloons

Montgomery County lawmakers approved legislation prohibiting the outdoor release of helium-filled latex and mylar balloons.

The bill was approved on Tuesday and was spearheaded by Montgomery County Council Vice President Tom Hucker.

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"Other jurisdictions, including Queen Anne's County and Ocean City in Maryland, have already banned the outdoor release of these balloons," Hucker said in a statement. "It's time for Montgomery County to step up and do its part to protect vulnerable wildlife in Maryland and beyond."

Balloon releases banned in Montgomery County

When latex and mylar balloons pop and fall to the ground they can be ingested by and kill sea turtles, marine birds and other land animals.

The bill authorizes penalties of $500 for first offenses and $750 for subsequent offenses and has received the support of numerous environmental and animal protection organizations, the Council said in a release.

"I'm grateful for the support of our wonderful community partners who have worked with us to craft this important legislation," Hucker continued. "The passage of this legislation represents a tangible and positive impact in the mission to protect our precious natural resources."