In April , the Green Team’s strong ally Senator Carolyn Comittap (Minority Chair, Environmental Resources & Energy) proposed that the last week in April 2022 be recognized as “International Dark Sky Week” in Pennsylvania. Her resolution No. 284, cosponsored by Chesco Senators Kane and Kearney among others, unfortunately was not acted on. Let’s hope for a better reception in next year’s General Assembly!
See the video of Senator Comitta’s remarks here and the text below:
I’ve introduced a Senate Resolution designating the week of April 22 through April 30, 2022, as “International Dark Sky Week” in Pennsylvania.
There is no experience quite like venturing outdoors and gazing up at the stars on a clear, crisp evening. It can truly put things in perspective and remind us of our place in the universe, and our connection to the environment and each other.
In addition, there’s a growing understanding of how over-lighting and excessive light pollution can negatively impact:
• Sleep patterns and circadian rhythms.
• Mental and physical health.
• Habitats for wildlife species, especially nocturnal creatures, insect life, and pollinators.
• Visibility for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
• And our efforts to promote energy efficiency.
International Dark-Sky Association reports that 83 percent of the global population lives under a light-polluted sky.
I support the efforts of residents, businesses, and communities that are embracing environmentally responsible techniques to reduce light pollution and better protect the night sky.
Read the full text of the resolution below:
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE RESOLUTION No. 284 Session of 2022
INTRODUCED BY COMITTA, BROWNE, STREET, FONTANA, COSTA, CAPPELLETTI AND KEARNEY, APRIL 25, 2022
Recognizing the week of April 22 through 30, 2022, as “International Dark Sky Week” in Pennsylvania.
WHEREAS, The welfare and enjoyment of this Commonwealth is associated with its character, including its dark skies ambiance at night; and
WHEREAS, Preserving and protecting the night sky enhances the use and enjoyment of property through the use of appropriate lighting practices; and
WHEREAS, Nighttime light pollution continues to increase, further presenting adverse impacts on all Pennsylvanians; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania values energy consumption reduction practices; and
WHEREAS, Sustainable outdoor lighting practices are desired to decrease the human impact on the environment; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvanians can take action to reduce light pollution by considering the purpose of outdoor lighting, using the correct illumination level, limiting the duration of its use to legitimate need and choosing lights that emit lower amounts of harmful blue light into the nighttime environment; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvanians can implement environmentally responsible techniques recommended by the International Dark-Sky Association to ensure that lighting has a clear purpose, is shielded and directed only to where needed, is no brighter than necessary, is used only when needed and consists of warmer color lights with lower Kelvin ratings; and
WHEREAS, Lighting replacement and improvement projects that incorporate these principles will save energy and money, greatly reduce light pollution and minimize wildlife disruption; and
WHEREAS, Implementation of best practice dark sky policies and continued education can make a significant difference in this Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, The Senate recognizes that “International Dark Sky Week” highlights the importance of taking action to reduce light pollution to better protect Pennsylvanians and the environment; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Senate recognize the week of April 22 through 30, 2022, as “International Dark Sky Week” in Pennsylvania.