Judge Denies Restraining Order To Stop La Jolla Fireworks

Fireworks Show To Go On As Planned

A judge denied a request by environmentalist Wednesday to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the annual July 4th fireworks show in La Jolla, but the legal battle is far from over.

"I don't find sufficient evidence to show there's irreparable harm environmentally," said the judge.

The Encinitas-based Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation sued the organizers of the La Jolla fireworks spectacle and others, saying it wants to reduce water pollution caused by pyrotechnics.

The nonprofit La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation has said the 25th annual show will go on despite threats to stop it by the environmental group, headed by attorney Marco Gonzalez.

As July 4 approaches, locals and visitors are assured they will see the fireworks on Sunday.

"It’s patriotic," said tourist Helen Ashley. "The environment has not suffered from this… It’s beautiful."

Adam Harris of the La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation agrees.

"We're just relieved and looking forward to spending time with friends and family and the community," said Harris.

Despite a victory for the city and show organizers, a lawsuit that calls for environmental studies and additional permits will still go before a judge later this year. State officials will also be examining regulations for coastal fireworks.

"We’re very excited," said Deborah Marengo of the La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation. "We were very confident going into this that we did everything correctly and followed the city’s guidelines and got our permits."

Gonzalez argued that the La Jolla Cove fireworks show takes place near one of the most biologically important marine areas in San Diego.

"Folks in this town think the right to pollute is a constitutionally protected right," said Gonzalez. "We will continue to fight and we just take this as one more battle in the long skirmish to protect our coastline."

The city of La Jolla called the lawsuit frivolous, while local business owners are thrilled. An estimated 13,000 to 20,000 people will visit the city and watch its fireworks.

Anya Tkaachenko, who manages a La Jolla gift shop, told 10News sales will more than triple.

"In an economy like that it’s absolutely necessary to attract big crowds of people and the fireworks show really helped us," she said.

In her ruling, the judge called the permitting process convoluted and confusing. A spokesperson for the mayor said they will be looking at the process.