VIDEO REPORT: Rhythm and Booms Study Shows Impact on Environment

By: Barclay Pollak Email
By: Barclay Pollak Email

Posted Thursday February 21, 2013 --- 5:45 p.m.

Jim Carrier is the co-founder of Wild Warner, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting the wetland and other natural areas in Warner Park.

Recently his group put up $4,000, along with $25,000 from the city, to pay for a study about the environmental impacts of the annual Rhythm and Booms event.

Not only is physical debris like cardboard, rope and fuses left behind but other substances like aluminum, copper and most importantly a propellant known perchlorate showed up in tests done after 2012's event.

The concern, according to Carrier, is that the chemicals that showed up in the study will make their way into the food chain and cause harm to the animals that call Warner Park home.

Carrier says " The amount of heavy metals that are taken up inside the plant are at critical or almost toxic levels according to standards for those plants."

Alder Anita Weier, a member of the City's Committee on the Environment, asked for the $25,000 last year to help pay for the study.
She acknowledges that the annual fireworks display is a hot topic in her north side district with sides split fairly evenly. She doesn't want to see the 4th of July celebration go away but she believes changes need to be made.

" It is enjoyed. It also is a problem at these high levels of explosives and high levels of attendance. "

The Madison Committee on the Environment will take up the issue on March 18th. Following that meeting they'll make a recommendation to the city.

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