Fact or Fiction

This Fact or Fiction page is designed to provide clear and accurate information in response to some of the most widespread stories without confirmation.

Bainbridge Island residents are engaged and curious.   We want to provide accurate information on the topics Islanders are talking about.  You can also sign up to get the weekly City Manager’s Report in your email inbox with the City’s most current news.

Hear a rumor? Email us at communications@bainbriddgewa.gov. We appreciate every email, but we will not be able to respond to every email. 

  1. Fact: The City of Bainbridge Island did not issue a permit for the fireworks display of September 17, 2022, and does not issue display fireworks permits of any kind.

Fiction: The City of Bainbridge Island issued a fireworks permit and did not tell residents of the island about a 9/17/22 fireworks show that disturbed residents. 

Additional Facts:  The City of Bainbridge Island does not issue display fireworks permits of any kind.  The City issues special events permits, but not display fireworks permits, which must be obtained from the fire marshal.  The fire marshal is not under the direction of the City if Bainbridge Island.  Though consumer fireworks are illegal on Bainbridge Island, display fireworks are not. Bainbridge Island Municipal Code Chapter 8.28 specifies that display fireworks within Bainbridge Island need to be permitted with the fire marshal. Display fireworks can only be operated by a professionally licensed business with all appropriate state licenses. 

What happened: On Saturday evening September 17, 2022, beginning around 9:20 p.m., a fireworks display was launched from a barge in Port Madison waters. Based on the permit application to the US Coast Guard, the barge was situated outside the boundaries of Bainbridge Island.

The commercial operator, retained by a private entity for the event, holds a General Display Fireworks License and Pyrotechnic Operator License issued by the Fire Protection Bureau of the Washington State Patrol. A permit was issued by the Seattle Fire Department for the loading of fireworks which occurred in that city. Coast Guard approval for a Marine Event was also secured. The City of Bainbridge Island was not informed of the event and did not have the opportunity to comment or suggest that notification be provided to Bainbridge Island residents. Neither the Bainbridge Island Police Department (BIPD) or Fire Department issued a permit for the event. 

The event triggered multiple calls to Kitsap 911. The BIPD is exploring coordination with a variety of agencies for events like this in the future.

  1. FACT: The City of Bainbridge Island has an established process to disseminate factual information through the City’s website first and foremost. The City of Bainbridge Island posts on its own social media accounts about City (and City partner) projects and events.
  1. FACT: The $0.25 disposable cup fee to customers on Bainbridge Island, implemented from the 2023 Waste Reduction Regulations, is retained by the retailer. The City of Bainbridge Island does not receive the fee.
  1. FACT: There are no health restrictions on providing a clean, sturdy, and appropriately insulated reusable cup to a food retail establishment. 
  1. Fact: City staff have been working with the Chamber of Commerce, the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association, and Bainbridge Island Zero Waste to educate businesses and residents about the new requirements. The outreach efforts have been substantial.
  1. Fact: PFAS substances and chemicals, found in many man-made products including plastics, are harmful to people and the environment according to the EPA. Bainbridge Island requires that all home compostable containers be free of intentionally added PFAS to help protect public and environmental health.
  1. FACT: Cardboard pizza boxes meet the City’s home compostable criteria if they are certified PFAS free and meet other certifications.