Environmental attorney will take on fairgrounds fireworks after the show


The environmental attorney focusing his efforts on stopping La Jolla’s Fourth of July fireworks display said Tuesday the Del Mar Fairgrounds will not get off scot-free if it proceeds with its show.

Marco Gonzalez, of the Coastal Law Group who represents the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation, said the fairgrounds lacks the proper permits needed for its annual fireworks display, meaning it will face major ramifications if it ignores his warnings. He has not filed suit against the fairgrounds as he has in the La Jolla case where he has named the La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation, the city of San Diego and Promote La Jolla.

But he said Tuesday, “The 22nd Ag. District has been sent a notice of intent to sue under the Federal Clean Water Act, and we intend to pursue substantial civil penalties.”

Fairgrounds spokesperson Linda Zweig said despite the threats, the patriotic show at the San Diego County Fair, featuring Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, will go on as scheduled.

“We have done everything that the law requires us to do in getting permits,” she said. “We’re within our rights, we have complied with all of the laws and requirements that will enable us to have our traditional annual, All-American Fourth of July fireworks display at the 2010 San Diego County Fair.”

The lawsuit aimed at stopping La Jolla’s 26th annual fireworks display before it starts contends it poses major threats to the surrounding sealife preserve and that organizers and city officials have failed to failed to follow state laws regarding environmental reports and coastal permits. A hearing on whether a temporary restraining order should be issued is set for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Superior Court.

When asked if a lawsuit would be filed against the 22nd DAA after the fireworks go off, Gonzalez emphatically said, “You betcha.”