NORWAY — A group of some 45 residents have submitted a petition to the Board of Selectmen asking for an ordinance prohibiting fireworks.

The petition, presented by Nancy Hohmann of 420 Crockett Ridge Road to the board at its Thursday night meeting, calls the use of fireworks “a serious problem.”

“The legalization of fireworks has had many far-reaching effects,” Hohmann said in a statement she said she wrote at 11:30 p.m. July 12 as fireworks were being shot off in her neighborhood.

The sale of consumer fireworks became law in Maine in 2012, prompting some towns to draw up ordinances banning their use in certain areas of cities or in entire towns. The legislation to legalize the sale, possession and use of fireworks was created to promote new businesses and jobs, but some residents say it has simply become a nuisance and a danger.

Hohmann and other petition signers say fireworks can cause physical and emotional harm to people, animals, livestock, wildlife and companion animals. She also said fireworks can cause epileptics to have seizures and can cause discomfort for asthmatics.

“Fireworks are bad for the environment,” Hohmann’s statement said. They can cause fires and conditions in factories where fireworks are manufactured can be “horrific and barely regulated.”

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“There have notoriously been illegal fireworks on Norway Lake for years,” she said in her statement. “Now that the activity is legal, the 4th of July is extended year round and goes on for hours in July, because fireworks are coming from many, many places.” 

She and other petitioners have asked that the board take note of the ordinance in Auburn, where fireworks have been prohibited.

Around the time fireworks became legal in Maine, police Chief Rob Federico told selectmen complaints had risen from about three the previous year to 12 by the middle of 2012.

But fireworks had been a problem in the Norway Lake area and North Norway for years prior to their legalization, he said.

Police say between Jan. 1, 2013, and Jan. 1, 2014, there were 15 fireworks complaints. So far this year, there have been nine complaints from inside and outside the downtown.

The board has agreed to put the issue on its Aug. 7 agenda for discussion.

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