July 4th Fireworks Canceled in LA Due to New Green Rules

Several fireworks displays that were scheduled to take place along the Los Angeles County coastline for the Fourth of July holiday have been canceled due to new environmental rules the city adopted.

The cancellations come a month after the LA Regional Water Quality Control Board mandated that all fireworks vendors obtain a permit for their shows and adopt new best practices for reducing plastics and other debris in the oceans.

Though most of the area shows are expected to comply with the new regulations, the Los Angeles Times reported that at least five will not take place over the Independence Day weekend.

Those shows had planned to use Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, which declined to seek a permit from the regional water board.

“We cannot and will not risk the safety of our staff and the public to comply with the restrictive regulations,” CEO Jim Souza said. “The water board instituted the new regulations quickly and unilaterally, with little input from us, one of the largest and most experienced firework show producers in the nation.”

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Souza told the Times that his company aims to be conscious of the impact on the environment, but that it will not comply with the new regulations this year.

Officials at the water board pointed to the other fireworks vendors that have been able to comply with the new standards.

At the May water board meeting where the regulations were adopted, a representative for Pyro Spectaculars said the mandate threatened the safety of its pyrotechnicians, according to the Times. Under the permit, pyrotechnicians would be required to do real-time visual monitoring of fireworks shows and cleanup shortly after shows.

Water board officials said the mandate only requires that “practicable and economically achievable” best practices be used, and that the company’s safety concerns could be addressed by using unmanned video monitoring systems.

The federal lawsuit that served as a catalyst for the green new rules was brought by environmental activists earlier this year, who alleged that a fireworks show over Long Beach Bay in California violated the Clean Water Act by discharging pollutants into Alamitos Bay.

Although the plaintiffs lost, the regional water body reportedly crafted the new rules in response to the outcome of the lawsuit.

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