Cities Cancel Fireworks Over Environmental Concerns

A number of cities canceled their Fourth of July fireworks displays due to environmental concerns, including Los Angeles. The efforts coincide with concerns about air quality issues related to the ongoing wildfires in Canada.

A number of fireworks shows around Los Angeles were fired this year. Canceled shows include Redondo Beach, Pacific Palisades and Malibu.

The cancelations stem from permit changes made by the L.A. Regional Water Quality Control Board the agency adopted the changes to restrict the amount of potential pollutants which could fall into the ocean. The changes were sparked by a federal lawsuit brought by environmental activists.

Redondo Beach City Manager Mike Witzansk said that the cancelation of the fireworks display was “frustrating.”

“We’re all disappointed,” he said.

Los Angeles was not alone in the effort. Salt Lake City, Utah, Boulder, Colorado and North Lake Tahoe, Nevada also canceled their fireworks displays. 

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall (D) said that the city was “excited about adapting to new technology which will provide a safe alternative for our residents and visitors.”

The mayor released a number of photos of a drone show over the city, including a display of the Statue of Liberty. Boulder city officials said that the fireworks would be canceled due to “a number of factors, including increased fire danger fueled by climate change.” 

The changes were made in compliance with the city’s “sustainability, equity and resilience framework.”

The Washington Post, a liberal news source, published an article cautioning against fireworks displays because they could contribute to soot from the Canadian wildfires.

The newspaper cited a policy director for a California environmental group. 

“At a time when climate change is exacerbating air pollution and wildfires, we need to find cleaner substitutes for fireworks, especially in areas with poor air quality,” the official said.

The newspaper also cited a University of California at San Francisco professor, who said that the fireworks could cause “days to weeks of Fourth of July-like air quality issues,”

Despite the changes, the American Pyrotechnics Association said that “fireworks use is expected to hit an all-time high this year, especially with July 4 falling on a Tuesday.”