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New Virginia law fines people $25 for releasing balloons

Jennie Taer, DCNF

A Virginia law that went into effect Thursday makes releasing balloons illegal.

Individuals who are 16 years old and older who release balloons in the state will now be fined $25, according to a summary of the law. In the case where someone below the age of 16 releases a balloon “at the instruction of an adult,” the adult will be fined.

State lawmakers who pushed for the law argued from an environmental perspective. There’s up to 272 pieces of balloons per mile on Virginia beaches causing pollution and threatening wildlife, according to a study by Longwood University.

Clean Virginia Waterways and Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program say that celebratory events planned by women and other scheduled events like memorials are largely to blame for balloon releases.

The fines collected will go to Virginia’s Game Protection Fund.

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