NELPAG Circular No. 13 1995 November 28 New England Light Pollution Advisory Group (NELPAG) Editor: Daniel W. E. Green [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; 60 Garden Street; Cambridge, MA 02138] (telephone 617-495-7440) e-mail: green@cfa (.bitnet, .span, or .harvard.edu) Secretary: Eric Johansson (telephone 508-667-0137) email: email@example.com "Subscription" to this irregular news/information Circular is available by sending self-addressed, stamped (32 cents in the U.S.A.) regular-sized (9.5x4-inch) envelopes (SASE) to Dan Green at his postal address, or by sending your e-mail address to NELPAG-REQUEST@YEEHAH.MERK.COM (Internet). Contributed information for this Circular concerning outdoor lighting problems in New England (or pertinent info from outside New England) are always welcome. Please circulate this newsletter to all interested parties. Look at our World Wide Web site at URL http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/nelpag/nelpag.html *********** NELPAG REPRESENTED AT STELLAFANE MEETING At the August Stellafane convention, NELPAG members Peter Talmage, Mario Motta, and Bernie Volz gave a short presentation at the end of the tent talks on Saturday. They discussed the current efforts of NELPAG and introduced the 7th draft of the "Good Neighbor Outdoor Lighting" pamphlet which was printed up in large volume by Sky & Telescope for distribution at Stellafane. Copies were handed out to everyone in the audience and were also made avaiable at other sites over the remainder of the weekend. It was felt that the distribution of GNOL will help a lot of people get started in their local efforts to fight light pollution. Everyone was encouraged to copy their copy and spead them around at home. A loud call of thanks goes to Sky & Telescope (and particularly to Edwin Aguirre) for their effort and donation in supplying the hundreds of copies of the pamphlet. --- Peter Talmage Mario Motta further reports: "On Saturday evening, I wrote an announcement about NELPAG that was read by Morse [in connection with the keynote evening talk]." Bernie Volz adds: "S&T and I handed out the "Good Neighbor Outdoor Lighting"; we gave away about 200 of them. The remaining copies were dropped of at the bunchhouse and an annoucement was made during the evening session letting people know that it was available. Mario was unable to get Stellafane to allow him (or anyone) from doing the NELPAG briefing during the evening program --- they would only allow a brief written announcement, which Mario wrote and was read. One reason given for not allowing the NELPAG briefing was because S&T paid for the xeroxing. Apparently, Stellafane organizers are angry at S&T because they never cover Stellafane. I also suspect that they don't want to get into the habit of doing these types of announcements because it could get out of hand." NEWS NOTES OF INTEREST + The American Planning Association's monthly newsletter, called Zoning News, published in its October issue a four-page article on exterior night lighting issues. The NELPAG got prominent mention therein, and subsequently Dan has received requests from landscape architects for information for planning (among other things) suburban subdivisions. It is encouraging to see that non-governmental developmental and engineering groups are finally getting serious about this issue! + There is a great article entitled "Night blindness", by NELPAG Connecticut representative Arthur Upgren in the latest (Winter 1996) issue of The Amicus Journal, which is published by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The Amicus Journal has a circulation of 116,000. I heartily encourage everyone to join the NRDC, membership of which includes a subscription to the Journal; this is one of the few environmental organizations that is top-heavy with scientists. Annual membership is only $10/year; send checks to NRDC, 40 West 20th St., New York, NY 10011. + For those with World Wide Web access, check out the campaign of the British Astronomical Association called "Campaign for Dark Skies", via their Web site http://www.u-net.com/ph/cfds/. + Philip S. Harrington (Long Island, NY) has written a master's thesis entitled "Designing A More Energy Efficient Urban Lighting System", which involved a detailed study of all outdoor lighting at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He determined that a vast amount of money could be saved by converting from their high-wattage, unshielded lighting to a more sensible system. + Steven Plotnick (Rhinebeck, NY) writes: "I have tried without success so far to get a lighting ordinance approved for my town of Rhinebeck. The Town's Planning Board did agree [that] bad lighting is a problem but decided even the Kennebunkport ordinance was too much regulation." + Warren Offutt (Cloudcroft, NM) writes [on 1995 Feb. 2]: "The 41st Legislature of the State of New Mexico has formally declared New Mexico to be a 'dark sky state'. While this resolution has no teeth, it has been helpful in engendering the support of local jurisdictions. The largest city in [Otero] County, Alamogordo, passed a lighting control ordinance about 5 years ago. We have recently gotten the approval of the Trustees of Cloudcroft to proceed with an ordinance for that village, and just this past Monday, got the agreement of the County Commissioners to proceed on a [Otero] County-wide ordinance." + The 1995 April 9 issue of the Maine Sunday Telegram reported that the town of Turner (ME) voted to "turn off 29 of the town's 32 street lights [to save money]. . . Last year the town paid Central Maine Power Co. about $5000 to keep the lights lit. This year the cost rose to about $5500. . . Reflectors will be placed prominently along the streets once the lights go out." + Peter Talmage passes this information from Larry Palow, Municipal Service Advisor at Central Maine Power, in a letter to all towns in its service area (dated May 31, 1995): "In an effort to respond to requests from some of our towns, as well as to head in the same direction as the electric utility industry seems to be going, we have determined that the cutoff type of luminaire will become our standard fixture rather than the semi-cutoff fixture that we have been using (See attached photos). The purpose of the cutoff fixture is to reduce glare to vehicular traffic as well as to reduce light trespass in residential areas. We will continue to use semi-cutoff fixtures as long as they are in inventory." Peter adds: "CMP services the majority of Maine, and I would expect the other two major utilities to follow suit. This would mean a slow but sure change over to all full cutoff utility supplied lighting. This is progress!!" + Bob Wylie has passed along an interesting article by N. E. Pollard (NEP Lighting Consultancy, Bath, U.K.) entitled "Sky-glow conscious lighting design" and published last year in the lighting-engineering journal Lighting Res. Technol. 26(3), 151-156. Among some of the remarks: "As society becomes more environmentally conscious, the problems of obtrusive light (and particularly 'sky glow') have led many road lighting engineers to demand full cut-off luminaires emitting no light whatsoever above the horizontal. . . . Stray light going up into the sky is (even if one is not worried about seeing the stars) poor design, a waste of energy, and a waste of money. Unfortunately, not all lighting installations are designed by good lighting engineers." As noted above, it's good to see the lighting industry talking more openly about change! + Talmage also reports: "I am now in production of alloy resin radial wave and admiral's hat reflectors that are being used by the new PEMCO Lighting Products company in the production of NEMA head fixtures. Some of the radial-wave, 50-watt HPS units are going into Kennebunk (ME). BECO (Boston Edison) has ordered up 15 admiral hat units for demo use in Lexington (MA) with various lamps. I can now say for sure that it is about to happen." + Wisconsin State Assembly Bill 249 was introduced on March 23 by 8 state representatives and one state senator; the first Energy Committee vote in February 1994 defeated the bill by a narrow margin (9-7). This bill aims to force proper outdoor night lighting. Dan has a full version of the bill (via Dave Crawford) for those who are interested. OUTDOOR LIGHTING ORDINANCE PROPOSAL: Warwick, Rhode Island This past Summer, John Bucci proposed an Outdoor Lighting Ordinance for the City of Warwick in Rhode Island. Mayor Chaffee and the Warwick City Council have agreed to support as well as help implement an Outdoor Lighting Ordinance for the second largest populated city in Rhode Island. John used a guide from a NELPAG model ordinance packet provided by Dan Green. He admits that NELPAG has been very helpful in offering strategy toward his efforts. Recently, a second draft has been sent to the town council for more specific review and comments. He hopes to have a final copy by the end of this year. The proposed ordinance has received favorable response from the community. The local newspaper interviewed John and featured a column entitled "Bring Back the Night Sky" outlining reasons and motivations for implementing outdoor lighting legislature to his home town. More later. --- John Bucci, Cambridge, Mass. (1995 Nov. 8) *** Next NELPAG meeting: A call for proposed meeting times some weeks ago solicited a large range of acceptable dates. It was thus decided to hold off on another meeting until the new year. A NELPAG Circular will be issued as notification. *** NELPAG IN CONNECTICUT from Arthur Upgren, Chair, Connecticut Section (6 July 1995): I just received word from my house representative that HB-6914 passed both houses in the Connecticut State Legislature. Section 6 of this composite bill contains HB-5092, the bill that dealt with light pollution reported favorably out of the house energy committee a few months ago. The main difference between that bill and Section of this one came at the instigation of the Department of Transportation. The concern of the DOT centered on their fear that implementation of HB-5092 as it stood, could cost the state millions of dollars. I discount much of the merit of their objection but in the present cost-cutting climate of this state, opposition to the waiver forming the last part of Section 6 was probably futile. The level of implementation remains to be seen but now the terms "light pollution", "glare" and "full cutoff" have a place in the statutes of a state at ground zero just a year or two ago. Two IDA members were particularly instrumental in the passage of this bill; Bob Crelin and Tom Davis were tireless in their efforts. The legislation in Maine and Massachusetts provided much of the incentive and the supportive roles of the IDA and NELPAG were essential in starting Connecticut in the direction of responsible outdoor lighting. This legislation may be one reason for my (fairly sudden) increased participation in lighting decisions of the City of Middletown and the Wesleyan Hills Association, representing the planned neighborhood in which I live. At their initiative and invitation, I am invited to Planning and Zoning Commission meetings, and to help on disputes surfacing between the WHA and Northeast Utilities over new lighting. The full text of the pertinent section follows: Sec. 6 (NEW) (a) As used in this section: (1) "Fixture" means the assembly that holds a lamp and may include an assembly housing, a mounting bracket or pole socket, a lamp holder, a ballast, a reflector or mirror, and a refractor or lens; (2) "Full cutoff luminaire" means a luminaire that allows no direct light emissions above a horizontal plane through the luminaire's lowest light-emitting part; (3) "Glare" means direct light emitting from a luminaire that causes reduced vision or momentary blindness; (4) "illuminance" means the level of light measured at a surface; (5) "Lamp" means the component of a luminaire that produces the light; (6) "Light trespass" means light emitted by a luminaire that shines beyond the boundaries of the property on which the luminaire is located; (7) "Lumen" means a unit of measurement of luminous flux; (8) "Luminaire" means the complete lighting system, including the lamp and the fixture; (9) "Permanent outdoor luminaire" means any luminaire or system of luminaires that is outdoors and intended to be used for seven days or longer; and (10) "State fund" means any bond revenues or any money appropriated or allocated by the general assembly (b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, no state funds shall be used to install or replace an outdoor luminaire for roadway lighting unless (1) the luminaire is designed to maximize energy conservation and to minimize light pollution, glare, and light trespass, (2) the luminaire's illuminance is equal to the minimum illuminance adequate for the intended purpose of the lighting, (3) for a luminaire with a rated output of more than 1800 lumens used on state secondary highways, as defined in section 13a-14 of the general statutes, and state special service highways, as defined in said section 13a-14, such luminaire is a full cutoff luminaire, (4) for a luminaire with a rated output of more than 1800 lumens used on state primary highways, as defined in said section 13a-14, for which, in the opinion of the commissioner of transportation, use of a full cutoff luminaire shall not compromise the safety of the highway, increase the cost of the lighting plan or lighting replacement for the highway or violate any provision of federal law, such luminaire is a full cutoff luminaire, and (5) the commissioner of transportation determines that the purpose of the lighting installation or replacement cannot be achieved by reducing the speed limit in the area to be lighted or by installing reflectorized roadway markers, lines, warnings, informational signs or other means of passive or reflective lighting. (c) The commissioner of transportation or his designee may waive the provisions of subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of this section when, after a request for such a waiver has been made and reviewed, the commissioner or his designee determines that such a waiver is necessary for the lighting application. Requests for such a waiver shall be made to the commissioner or his designee in such form as the commissioner shall prescribe and shall include, without limitation, a description of the lighting plan, a description of the efforts that have been made to comply with the provisions of subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of this section and the reasons such a waiver is necessary. In reviewing a request for such a waiver, the commissioner shall consider design safety, costs and other factors deemed appropriate by the commissioner. (d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the installation or replacement of luminaires for which the secretary of the office of policy and management (1) conducts a life-cycle cost analysis of one or more luminaires which meet the requirements set forth in subsection (b) of this section and one or more luminaires which do not meet such requirements, and (2) certifies that a luminaire which meets such requirements is not cost effective and is not the most appropriate alternative based on the life-cycle cost analysis. *********** The NELPAG supports the International Dark-Sky Association and recommends that all individuals/groups who are interested in the problems of light pollution and obtrusive lighting should subscribe to the IDA Newsletter (IDA membership costs $20.00 per year; send check to International Dark-Sky Association, 3545 N. Stewart, Tucson, AZ 85716).