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Maine Fire Marshal: Bill to Help Boaters Dispose of Explosive Flares Not Needed

AUGUSTA, Maine - A Harpswell lawmaker is proposing a system for boaters to safely dispose of maritime flares.  But state Fire Marshal Joe Thomas says it’s not needed.

Rep. Joyce McCreight, a Democrat from Harpswell, introduced the bill after local lobstermen told her of boxes of old flares that have been stored in garages and barns that they didn’t know how to dispose of.

“ 'What am I supposed to do with my expired flares?' " McCreight says one lobsterman asked her. "He told me he and other lobstermen have sheds, garages, basements, full of these explosive devices.”

But Fire Marshall Joe Thomas says it’s been the practice of his office for years to go pick up potentially explosive materials and dispose of them because of the public safety risk.

Some committee members suggested that the service be better publicized.

Thomas “Somebody finds a box of old flares or old dynamite
in a barn someplace, you don’t want them picking it up and moving it. So, I
mean, our practice has been, you find this stuff at home and you want to get
rid of it, you call us and we’ll come and get it.”