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The mission of the Night Sky Protection Act is to provide areas in our state that are protected for future generations where families can enjoy an unimpaired starry night sky. Our campaign will be based on truth and knowledge.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does this impact our military bases? Military bases need darkness to prepare troops for nighttime exercises such as patrols and landing of planes. Look here of specifics
How much electricity is wasted on bad lighting? About 1% of our total electrical production is wasted. In 2001 this represents about 732 Million kilowatt hours per year(1).
Won't this increase crime? It has long been assumed that more light means less crime. Unfortunately, studies have not shown a direct relationship between lighting and crime. Crime is a social problem more than a lighting problem. Crime statistics show the about two-thirds of burglaries against residences occurred during the day(2).
Will this help tourism in our state? In 2006 at Bryce Canyon National Park, the National Park Service reported stargazing and astronomy programs were attended by over 28,000 visitors, essentially equaling the remainder of all other interpretive programs combined. Nighttime astronomy programs have been linked to increased camping and local tax revenues from individuals staying longer and buying food and supplies locally. Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania reported annual visits in 2006 up 30% drawing visitors from New York, Texas, Canada and Australia. Cherry Springs boasts a dark-sky observation field in the middle of the park.
Won't this cost me and my business a lot of money? The final regulations will be developed by the Department of Natural Resources and given their due process and public input. I can only speculate. Here is my opinion: New lighting technologies offering a fraction of the operating costs as standard lighting and will become widely available before 2025. Most individuals and organizations will switch on their own. It is important to get a lighting standard in place now that allows for exterior lighting to be installed in a manner that that benefits both the consumer and our state parks. Delaying this bill will result in consumers having wasted their initial investment in energy efficient outdoor lighting. Additionally, the EPA Act of 2005 bans the production and importing of Mercury Vapor ballasts. This will also be a catalyst for purchasing new lighting fixtures prior to 2025.
What are other states doing about light pollution? Eleven states have laws to reduce light pollution. The State Environmental Resource Center in Madison, Wisconsin (SERC Online) lists 27 states with existing or proposed laws. The International Dark-Sky Association also includes Delaware and Oregon.