For years, scientists have warned about the danger the release of latex and mylar balloons poses to our environment.  Not only do the downed balloons litter our forests, yards, and parks, they can also injure or kill animals.  Critters, birds, and fish eat pieces of the balloons or get tangled-up in the balloon strings.  According to scientists, balloon pieces are 32 times more likely to kill wildlife than if a piece of hard plastic was injested.

Now, it looks like the government is doing something about it.

According to News Center Maine, a new bill, LD 618, will establish a fine for anyone who intentionally releases a bunch of balloons.

The amount of the fine will depend on how many balloons are released.  For example, first-time offenders who release 10 or fewer balloons at one time will be fined anywhere from $100 to $500. Subsequent offenses increase to over $1,000.  While, people who are caught releasing more than ten balloons will face a fine of $500 to $1,000.  Repeat offenders could get a fine of up to $2,000.

Keep in mind, people who accidentally "let go" of a balloon will not face a fine.  Although, it may lead to you having to deal with a seriously upset, crying child.

The final step in the approval process is for Governor Janet Mills to sign the bill into law.

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