QUEEN ANNE'S COUNTY, Md. — Queen Anne's County has become the first county in Maryland to ban non-biodegradable balloon releases, the County Commissioners announced on Tuesday after unanimously voting to pass Ordinance 19-13.
“Intentionally releasing balloons into the atmosphere is nothing short of littering”, said the bill’s author, Commissioner Christopher M. Corchiarino. “This ordinance will allow us to protect a cross-section of interests in the County while furthering the stewardship of our waterways and rural landscapes”.
In July, Corchiarino brought forward the ordinance which provides for fines of up to $250 for deliberate violations and a hearing was held on August 13.
At the hearing, witnesses testified that helium balloons from had reached farm fields and that balloons released along the coast have ended up in the ocean in "huge off-shore clusters".
Queen Anne's County is one of only a handful of places in the United States to adopt a prohibition against environmentally harmful balloon releases.