|Lawsuit Against Fireworks Pops Up|
|Thursday, June 28 2012|
For the third year in a row environmentalists have filed a lawsuit challenging the popular Fourth of July fireworks show in La Jolla, California.
Attorney Marco Gonzalez and the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation claim that tens of thousands of people will convene on beaches to watch the July 4 display, which "results in a massive cloud of explosion by-product smoke above the spectators and ocean, and fallout from the fireworks show … in the water.” Gonzalez maintains that nothing is more patriotic than clean water and he is focused on the event because it's near a biologically sensitive marine area.
Similar lawsuits were filed in 2010 and 2011 by the plaintiffs and in 2011 a judge sided with the environmentalists, stating the city of San Diego is allowing and permitting fireworks show without an environmental review of the impact on the water. Just recently, a judge agreed with the prior court ruling that the city must conduct the review.
“We believe it [for the city to allow the fireworks to proceed] was both illegal and underhanded,” Gonzalez said Friday. “The city has thumbed its nose at the court and done anything in its power to get out of disclosing the true impacts of fireworks shows in La Jolla.”
Gonzalez doesn't think there is sufficient time to get an eleventh-hour restraining order to stop this year's festivities and organizers expect the show to go on.
“I am trying to be smart about this for you and me,” Gonzalez told the city council. “It’s time to sit down and work out a solution.”
The council is expected to discuss fireworks-related litigation in closed session on July 3rd, potentially deciding whether to appeal the recent court decisions.
“The La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation has no intention of being bullied by this senseless and wasteful litigation,” said Robert Howard, a lawyer for the group that hosts the celebration.