Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset) announces his legislation to curtail light pollution from State owned buildings was signed into law (Chapter 512) by the Governor. To reduce the unintended lighting of the sky, the new law requires the use of fully and partially shielded lights on the exterior of State buildings, directing lighting downward onto streets, walkways and public spaces.
“New York State is taking the first step needed to protect our night sky, in addition to saving energy,” said Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset). “Our children should have the excitement of finding the Big Dipper without a long drive into the country.”
Unshielded lighting causes light trespass, sky glow - obscuring night sky views, and road glare. “Fatal light attraction,” which is produced by excessive outdoor lighting, is deadly for migratory birds, causing over 100 million bird fatalities across the United States.
By directing light into a focused beam, rather than allowing it to disperse, fully shielded lighting fixtures reduce light trespass and dangerous glare. With less illumination needed to appropriately light a given area, fully shielded lighting fixtures are also more energy efficient. There are exemptions in the bill for emergency personnel, road repair crews, aviation and nautical industries, athletic sporting fields, and general public safety and security concerns.
“The State has a responsibility to reduce light pollution, move to more energy efficient lighting and preserve the beauty of the night sky for all people,” said Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan). “I am pleased that the Governor recognized the importance of this bill, and signed it into law.”
“Audubon New York applauds Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Carl Marcellino and Assembly member Linda Rosenthal for their leadership in enacting this important law to reduce light pollution and require the state to prioritize the use of energy efficient lighting products,” said Erin Crotty, Executive Director of Audubon New York. “By reducing the unnecessary lighting of the night sky, this law will decrease threats posed to migrating birds which can become disoriented by excessive outdoor lighting and reduce the state’s energy costs by using more efficient lighting products.”
We wish to commend the leadership provided by the two authors of this legislation, New York Assembly member Linda Rosenthal and Senator Carl Marcellino. This model legislation is an excellent example of how private stakeholders and our elected leaders can work together to address an issue through legislation,” said National Electrical Manufacturers Association President and CEO Kevin J. Cosgriff.
"Light pollution not only effects wildlife and washes out the night sky, but wastes energy with unnecessary and excessive illumination. This costs the state plenty--in dollars and in carbon pollution. We applaud Senator Marcellino and Assembly member Rosenthal and thank governor Cuomo for addressing this issue," said Christopher Goeken, Director of Public Policy for the New York League of Conservation Voters.