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 ingested.

So, clearly, there are a lot of downsides to the release of balloons.  Because of this, many people would argue that you should not be able to release balloons.  But, is it illegal to release balloons?

Here in Maine, the answer is YES!

According to News Center Maine, Maine legislature bill LD 618 made the intentional release of balloons a finable offense.

According to the Bangor Daily News, the bill was passed and signed into law by Governor Janet Mills in the summer of 2021.

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The amount of the fine depends on how many balloons were 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.

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