Senate Bill 24

151st General Assembly (Present)

Bill Progress

Lieu/Substituted 3/11/21
Adopted in Lieu of original; takes status of original

Bill Details

1/12/21
Rep. Heffernan
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DELAWARE LITTER CONTROL LAW.
The intent of this Act is to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the environment and to raise awareness of the need to properly dispose of balloons. To that end, this Act imposes a civil penalty for the violation of intentionally releasing 5 or more balloons filled with air or lighter-than-air gases, to prevent litter which blights our communities and environment and causes harm to wildlife and marine animals. The release of multiple balloons at 1 time is a single offense under this Act. This Act also establishes that intentionally releasing 1 to 4 balloons at 1 time is littering. Exceptions are provided for the following: - A balloon that is released for scientific or meteorological purposes, on behalf of a governmental agency, or under a governmental contract. - A hot air balloon that is recovered after launching. - A balloon that is released and remains indoors. - A balloon that is filled with water for recreational purposes and recovered after recreation. - A balloon that is negligently or unintentionally released. Under this Act, the intentional release of 1 or more balloons is a civil violation, penalized as follows: - The first violation is subject to a civil penalty of at least $25. - A second or subsequent violation within 2 years of the first is subject to a civil penalty of $75 and up to 8 hours of community service for a second violation within 2 years of the first violation. The mass release of balloons is penalized as follows: - A first violation is subject to a civil penalty of at least $250 and up to 8 hours of community service. - A second or subsequent violation within 2 years of the first is subject to a civil penalty of at least $350 and up to 25 hours of community service. Under this Act, a retail or wholesale establishment that sells balloons must post a notice for customers that the intentional release of balloons is unlawful. This Act also makes a technical correction to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. All law enforcement agencies in Delaware, including enforcement personnel of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, have the authority to enforce this chapter. The Justice of the Peace Court has jurisdiction over violations of this chapter.
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Takes effect upon being signed into law
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