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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Bill regulating fireworks remains stalled in the House


By The Star Staff


Senate Bill (SB) 502, which seeks to establish the “Prohibition of the Use, Possession, and Distribution of Pyrotechnic Devices Act” in order to protect physical and emotional health, protect the environment and prevent animal cruelty, has been bogged down in the island House of Representatives since soon after it was unanimously approved in the upper chamber in January 2022.


With the Christmas season underway and the sounds of fireworks filling the air night after night in Puerto Rico, independent Sen. José “Chaco” Vargas Vidot, who authored the measure and filed it in August 2021, denounced the fact that the bill has been stalled in the House Public Safety, Science and Technology Committee since Jan. 25, 2022.


“Through this bill, we seek to regulate and prohibit the manufacture, sale, commercialization, possession, distribution, public or private use, and free and uncontrolled use of pyrotechnic devices throughout Puerto Rico, with the aim of protecting and guaranteeing peace in all sectors, because we know that it does harm in various ways and there are statistics to back it up,” Vargas Vidot said Thursday. “It has a direct impact on the most vulnerable sectors altering the health, tranquility, well-being, and safety of people with disabilities, the elderly, veterans, animals and the environment.”


SB 502 prohibits the marketing, display, distribution, possession, handling, public or private use, free use, manufacture, storage, transportation, distribution and wholesale or retail sale, sale in department stores and street vending of fireworks, whatever their nature or characteristic.


The bill provides as an exception for production, manufacturing, importation, transport, marketing, handling and sale of pyrotechnic devices that only produce light effects and those whose audible sound is not higher than 20 decibels, among other exclusions.

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