I would like to humbly call to your attention the increasing light pollution within our nation that is caused by excessive light emissions into the atmosphere. Dark skies are becoming endangered resources in the United States because of the unnecessary usage of luminescent light at night by cities, resulting in light pollution, the ineffective lighting directed up, down and sideways used by American towns and cities, and urban sky glow, the brightening of skies over our cities as a result of the light pollution; it then effectively destroys out view of the universe.
One method of decreasing light pollution and urban sky glow is by setting aside of land for the use of dark sky parks, parks where there is minimal or no light emission at all. This method of reducing light pollution is used to reduce the light pollution in towns as well as large cities around the world. In August 2007, Slovenia passed the Slovene Light Pollution Law which substantially had an effect on the country's light pollution, especially in its capital Ljubljana.
Along with designating areas near cities for dark parks, other measures to decrease light pollution should also be taken. Motion sensitive lighting can be installed on side streets and avenues in order to minimize light pollution during the night, a method already used for some streets in the city of Barcelona, Spain. Another practice to lessen light pollution at night would be to orient street lightbulbs so that they face downwards and project light at an angle less than 180 degrees, thus illuminating the ground and not the sky.
Statistically, two of three people cannot see the Milky Way from their homes and 99% of people live under light polluted skies. Light pollution is most severe in highly industrialized, densely populated areas of the United States (especially California) and Europe, but even relatively small amounts of light can be important for sensitive applications. Light pollution is not just a concern for astronomers; light shining into the eyes of pedestrians and drivers can reduce visibility. It also reduces night vision, which can take an hour to return after exposure to bright lights. Light pollution also affects animals. When baby turtles are born on beaches, light pollution often blinds them, causing them to never reach the ocean.
I understand that you have recently voted in favor of many pieces of legislation for the betterment of the environment, including amendments such as rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline Project as will as the disapproval of the EPA's cross-border pollution rule. You have also voted for the protection of the environment on legislations such as the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009: a bill that added land to the National Wilderness Preservation System. I would greatly appreciate it if you further aid the environment by reducing light pollution through the incorporation of legations from other countries, such as Slovenia's Light Pollution Law, so that there is 0% emission above the horizon.
I would very much like to see the setting aside of land for the use of dark sky parks, parks where there is minimal or no light emission at all, near large cities to ensure that light pollution is reduced, along with regulations to minimize the light pollution made by lights that are kept on at night.
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