June 3, 2008

El Paso Texas County bans sale of aerial fireworks

We are posting this story below as it shows a few things. One that there are some politicians willing to stand up for common sense in the face of political opposition, and secondly to show that there is a "powerful fireworks lobby" at work in this country. (like that was a surprise). Drought conditions (and air pollution) will likely only worsen in CA over the coming decades. But one thing is for sure...we will still be selling and lighting fireworks.

El Paso Texas County Commissioners ban sale of aerial fireworks for 4th of July


Posted: June 2, 2008 11:23 AM

EL PASO, TX - The only way the county can ban the sale of aerial fireworks during Independence Day celebrations is if the county is in a drought. According to the Texas Forest Service's measurements, the county is facing drought conditions.

Monday, commissioners voted unanimously to ban the sale of fireworks with sticks and fins. Commissioner Miguel Teran wasn't at Mondays's meeting.

Before they voted, State Representative Inocente "Chente" Quintanilla told the court he learned the county had expressed interest in talking to the state about banning the sale of fireworks. Quintanilla says his office is currently drafting legislation that would prohibit the sale and use of fireworks within 500 feet of an unincorporated community, such as Montana Vista and Agua Dulce.

The state rep said to avoid clashes with the other 253 county leaders in the state and the powerful fireworks lobby, he's drafting it so it would only apply to El Paso County.

"It'll be ready in two weeks," Quintanilla told the court, saying at that time, he'll bring it to the county for commissioners' input.

TNT Fireworks Manger Fernando Viramontes told ABC-7 he's willing to work around the prohibition of aerial fireworks, but legislation regulating where to sell and use fireworks concerns him. Viramontes cited the numerous organizations, like sports and school groups, who sell fireworks and use part of the profits toward funding group activities. The firework stand manager thinks this could cut into their fundraising efforts.

The County Attorney's Office told commissioners if drought conditions improve before next week, it will notify the court about modifying the ban on aerial fireworks.

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