Suffolk County Law § 310-2 states: “No person, nonprofit organization, firm, corporation, or municipality shall knowingly release, organize the release of, condone the release of, or intentionally cause to be released into the atmosphere, within a twenty-four-hour period, 25 or more helium or lighter-than-air gas balloons within the County of Suffolk.”
In an effort to make their balloon laws even stricter, local townships such as East Hampton Town, Southampton Town, and Southampton Village are making strides to ban balloon releases altogether.
Not only are balloons are an incredibly common item found at beach cleanups that pose an immediate threat to marine life, but balloons also pose a threat to utility supply. During July 4th weekend, one of the busiest weekends of the year on the East End of Long Island, a mylar balloon hit a transformer and left 2,000+ businesses and homes out of power. This has been seen and experienced time and time again within the past few years across the country including outages in Queens, Maui, Milwakee, Palo Alto, and Los Angeles, and many more locations.
The Eastern Long Island Chapter actively communicates with its members about the negative impacts of balloons, and also directly sharing the data from recent beach cleanups with local town governments, providing sincere evidence of the problem of balloon and other single-use plastics on our beaches.
On June 25th, 2019, Southampton Town Board voted unanimously to ban the intentional release of balloons. Effective immediately.
RES-2019-732 ”No person, firm, corporation or other entity shall organize the release of or intentionally release or intentionally cause to be released any balloon.
No person, firm, corporation or other entity shall intentionally dispose of any balloon, except in public receptacles, in authorized private receptacles, in authorized commercial receptacles, or in designated areas within Town transfer station pursuant to Chapter 205 of the Code of the Town of Southampton.”