SPRING TWP., Pa. - For some it’s becoming such a regularity, you could almost set your watch by it.
“Every night,” said Robert Hitchens of Spring Township. “Every night, I’d say, around 7 o’clock and on.”
For the past couple of weeks, some people have reported loud fireworks being set off near their homes, raising safety concerns as the Fourth of July approaches.
“This weekend is probably gonna be really ridiculous,” Hitchens said. “And how they’re gonna stop it - I don’t see them stopping it for the weekend. It’s gonna happen.”
State Sen. Judy Schwank of Berks County is trying to do something about it. Maybe not in time for this Fourth of July, but perhaps the next, especially after last year, when fireworks likely sparked fires in Reading.
“It wouldn’t be so bad if it were just one night, but it seems like the Fourth of July and some other holidays have turned into three-week extravaganzas every night,” said Schwank, who represents the 11th District, which includes the City of Reading.
Schwank says that she continues to receive complaints from constituents when it comes to fireworks.
“We have been inundated with calls, and when I talk to my colleagues in the Senate they’re saying the same thing, particularly people in urban areas,” Schwank said.
Schwank is putting forth legislation to reverse the Fireworks Act of 2017, which legalized aerial fireworks, as long as they aren’t set off within 150 feet of a building, to bring in tax revenue.
“And as a result of that, now anybody can have access to see this stuff,” she said. “Now in the legislation there was a distance requirement in terms of how close you could set this off to another building, but people are just ignoring that.”
Schwank is seeking additional support from other state Senate members.