Balloon launch raises concern

Balloon launch raises concern Click to Enlarge Photo:

Apr 9, 2014 at 10:16 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota's plan to launch 60,000 celebratory balloons around the state next month is drawing criticism from environmentalists.

Individuals and organizations will launch the balloons in honor of the 60,000 people in Minnesota with epilepsy and for the foundation's 60th anniversary.

The St. Cloud Times says such launches are banned in some states because the balloons break, fall to the ground in pieces and cause environmental concerns for birds, wildlife and waterways.

The foundation has addressed the concerns on its website. It says the May 15th event will be "an eco-friendly balloon release," because it will use biodegradable latex balloons made from the sap of rubber trees.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has notified the foundation that although balloon launches aren't specifically addressed with a state law, they would be considered littering, which is illegal.

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