Enfield Adopts Fireworks Rules

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/10/2016 11:19:55 PM
Modified: 11/10/2016 11:20:02 PM

Enfield — Summertime on Mascoma Lake could be more quiet next year because of new regulations limiting fireworks.

The Selectboard voted earlier this week to adopt a new ordinance banning the use of fireworks for much of the week. Under the new rules, fireworks would be allowed in Enfield only on Fridays, Saturdays and on the 4th of July, Labor Day and New Year’s Eve until 10:30 p.m.

People found in violation will first be given a warning, followed by fines of $250 and $500 for subsequent violations.

“I think it was a compromise that both sides can respect,” Selectboard member Fred Cummings said in an an email on Thursday. “Though not what I wanted, my job is to represent both sides equally.”

Residents of both Mascoma and Crystal lakes began lobbying for a fireworks ordinance in September, when they told the board the nonstop noise had become too much, and worried about the chemicals possibly polluting local waterways.

Jeff Hinman, who lives on Mascoma Lake, helped lead the charge and even brought a bag filled with debris from his property to one board meeting. He said Monday’s meeting was attended by a large group of people all supporting the ordinance while also stressing the importance of protecting the lake.

Some of the ingredients in fireworks can pollute water and harm local ecosystems, according to the state Department of Environmental Services.

Some residents said before Monday’s meeting that just limiting hours didn’t go far enough.

Hinman was one of them, but said on Thursday that he was encouraged by the Selectboard, who agreed to revisit the ordinance if needed.

Selectboard member Meredith Smith was also concerned about protecting Enfield’s lakes before the meeting, but said it would be difficult to enforce anything beyond limited hours.

“Right now, there’s really no way we could restrict people from shooting fireworks in front of their houses, lighting off fireworks on a legal day,” Smith said on Thursday.

Instead, she said the Mascoma Lake Association will undertake a public education campaign with the hope of preventing people from setting off fireworks over the lake.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” Smith said.

The board also approved an ordinance limiting the use of professional firework displays. The regulation requires both the police and fire chiefs to sign off on such displays beforehand and also limits hours to the same hours as commercial fireworks.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.

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