Will Fireworks Fly this 4th of July?

Sacramento weighs in on San Diego's Fireworks Debate

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    A bill aimed at allowing fireworks for certain events without an environmental review is on its way to the State Assembly. Bob Howard, the attorney for the La Jolla Fireworks Show, tells NBC 7 reporter Greg Bledsoe about the frustrations behind the bill. (Published Thursday, May 31, 2012)

    There is a bill going through the state legislature right now that would affect San Diego's annual fireworks debate.

    The problem is, neither side of the debate supports that bill.

    Fireworks Bill Sent to Legislators

    [DGO] Fireworks Bill Sent to Legislators
    A bill aimed at allowing fireworks for certain events without an environmental review is on its way to the State Assembly. Bob Howard, the attorney for the La Jolla Fireworks Show, tells NBC 7 reporter Greg Bledsoe about the frustrations behind the bill. (Published Thursday, May 31, 2012)

    SB 973 was originally authored to allow fireworks at many public events that last less than 48 hours. However, to get it through the senate, the bill's language was changed to allow only one event per site, per year.

    "The original purpose has been lost on this legislation," says attorney Bob Howard who helped create the bill's original language. "So, we've lost our enthusiasm entirely for SB 973 at this point."

    One of the bill's main supporters, Assemblyman Juan Vargas, will now withdraw his support after the changes to the proposed legislation according to his office on Wednesday.

    Still at issue in San Diego's fireworks debate are multiple lawsuits involving the La Jolla Fireworks show.  Five suits have been filed by environmental attorney Marco Gonzalez, including one that will go before a judge the middle of next month.

    Gonzalez claims his main goal is to get more long term data on the effects of fireworks on the environment.

    "Frankly, that's the question,' he says, "No one wants to do the studies that would tell us conclusively what the impacts of fireworks are. "

    Gonzalez says the only longterm studies done on the issue involved the SeaWorld Fireworks shows over Mission Bay.  He says those studies showed that on the biggest holidays, like 4th of July and Labor Day, there may have been environmental impacts from the fireworks.

    "We did see spikes in water quality impacts. That's not good for these shows," says Gonzalez.

    Howard says without better studies on more areas, these lawsuits are a waste of time and money.

    "It infuriates me," he says, "Because it's not based on the science. If it were based on the science, we'd say you've got something. You actually make a good point.  Let's address it."

    In the meantime, Howard says the La Jolla Fireworks show will go on as planned this July 4th.

    In fact, he says most shows, other than fireworks at Lake Murray in La Mesa, will go on. The organizers of that show canceled the event after threat of a lawsuit, according to Howard.

    Follow NBCSanDiego for the latest news, weather, and events: iPad App | iPhone App | Android App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts