ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Senate has approved a measure that would create a statewide ban on the intentional release of balloons into the atmosphere.

The Senate voted 38-8 on Tuesday for the measure.

The bill creates a civil penalty of up to $250 per violation by an organization or a person who is at least 13 years old. Supporters of the measure say it’s needed to stop littering.

Last year, researchers in Virginia released a study about the local problem of balloon litter in the marine environment.

In August, Queen Anne’s County became the first county in Maryland to ban the intentional release of non-biodegradable balloons.

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