HARRISBURG – Recognizing a serious threat to wildlife, livestock, and pets by balloon litter, Fayette County Rep. Matthew Dowling has introduced legislation to prohibit intentional balloon releases in PA. The lawmaker said while balloon releases may be a moving way to remember a loved one or celebrate a special occasion, we need to think about where those balloons end up. They sometimes travel many miles from where they were released and end up in farm fields or waterways where they are mistaken as food and in many documented cases have resulted in animal deaths. When eaten, balloons may end up lodged in the digestive tract of an animal, ultimately resulting in an agonizing death. Also dangerous are ribbons attached to balloons, as animals may become entangled in them, causing injuries or strangulation. House Bill 2614 would prohibit any state or local organization, entity or person older than age 13 from intentionally releasing a balloon into the atmosphere, with minimal exceptions. It would also put in place a fine for those who violate the law. The bill has been referred to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

REP. MATTHEW DOWLING