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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 17, 2016
Contact:
Brent Butler, Director-Resource Stewardship Department at Butlerb@co.thurston.wa.us or (360) 754-3355 x6485

Public Hearing Scheduled for Changes to Fireworks Permitting
Public comment taken on the proposed ban alternatives for consumer fireworks

OLYMPIA - The Thurston County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Monday, June 27, to accept public testimony on proposed alternatives to ban fireworks.

What:Public Hearing-Amendments to Fireworks Permitting (Chapter 6.68 TCC)
When:Monday, June 27, at 5:30 p.m.
Where:Thurston County Courthouse, Building One, Room 152, at 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia

County Commissioners are considering legislation that would 1) permanently ban the sale, possession, or discharge of consumer fireworks in unincorporated Thurston County, and/or 2) ban the sale and discharge of fireworks only when there is a burn ban in effect or when there are extenuating emergency conditions. The purpose of the amendment is to improve fire and public safety in Thurston County.

Currently, Thurston County follows state law for the sale of consumer fireworks, which allows fireworks to be sold from noon to 11:00pm on June 28, from 9:00am to 11:00pm on each day from June 28 through July 4, and from 9:00am to 9:00pm on July 5. The discharge of consumer fireworks is limited to 9:00am to 11:00pm on July 3, and July 4.

Thurston County prohibits the sale, purchase, possession and discharge of consumer fireworks for the New Year's holiday.

The Commissioners are addressing fireworks permitting because in 2015, there were extreme dry conditions in Thurston County and some County officials did not have a method for banning the sale and discharge of fireworks. The Commissioners have also received a number of citizen requests to ban the sale, possession and discharge of consumer fireworks.

The public will have the opportunity to comment on two proposals at the scheduled public hearing, or submit their comments in writing. The Board will consider public testimony and written comments in their decision. Changes to the proposal may be made following the public hearing, and the Board may act as soon as the public hearing closes. According to state law, the new regulations will become effective one year after adoption.

Written comments can be emailed to Maya Buhler, Assistant Planner, at buhlerm@co.thurston.wa.us, or mailed to Thurston County Resource Stewardship Department, Land Use and Permitting, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98502. The deadline for written comments is 4:00pm, Tuesday, June 27.

You can find examples of consumer fireworks, more detailed information about the proposal, and view the full text on the Thurston County Home Page or at: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/home/docs/fireworks-memo-20160617.pdf

You can find more information about state fireworks regulations and laws at the Washington State Patrol's, Office of the State Fire Marshal website: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/fwlicense.htm

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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3