Ag Committees Receive Testimony on PA Fireworks Law

HARRISBURG – The Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Elder Vogel (R-47), and the House Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Dan Moul (R-91), held a joint public hearing today to review the 2017 expansion of the sale of fireworks, which allowed Pennsylvanians to purchase certain consumer-grade fireworks options previously not permitted under state law.

The committees heard from panels of testifiers who included Joe Gerdes, Director of Government Relations for the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS); Edward C. Troxell, Director of Government Affairs for the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs; Amy Sturges, Director of Governmental Affairs for the Pennsylvania Municipal League and the PA State Association of Township Commissioners (PSATC); Sergeant Jerry Harper, Supervisor of the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Unit; Scott L. Bohn, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association; Jay Delaney, Fire Chief for the City of Wilkes-Barre and President of the Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association; and Danial Peart, Director of Government Affairs for Phantom Fireworks.

Several of the testifiers discussed what they said are the difficulties, concerns and challenges caused by the 2017 expansion of the fireworks law. Much of the conversation during the hearing pointed to the need for better data collection about the use of fireworks which would better inform future policy considerations.

Some of the testimony suggested a repeal of the expansion, though several of the testifiers expressed a desire to give law enforcement and local governments the clarity and latitude to exercise control over the use of fireworks to protect public safety.

 

CONTACT:   Cara Laudenslager                  claudenslager@pasen.gov