MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Releasing balloons in celebration or mourning is now illegal in Montgomery County.

The county council approved the legislation Tuesday, banning the outdoor release of helium-filled latex and mylar balloons.

The bill bans helium and mylar balloon releases and implements a $500 fine for first offenses. Subsequent offenses are punishable by a $750 fine. Accidental balloon releases and releases for scientific purposes are not subject to fines.

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Under the bill, the property owner where a release takes place would be found responsible if police can’t determine who let go of the balloon.

Council Vice President Tom Hucker cited the impacts balloons have on animals and the environment as reasons for the legislation.

Queen Anne’s County and Ocean City, Maryland have already put a ban on balloon releases.

CBS Baltimore Staff

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