S.F No. 495, as introduced: 83rd Legislative Session (2003-2004) Posted on Feb 20, 2003
1.1 A bill for an actModel Light Pollution Regulations for a Municipality
1.2 relating to the environment; restricting outdoor light
1.3 pollution; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
1.4 Statutes, chapter 116.
1.5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
1.6 Section 1. [PURPOSE.]
1.7 The legislature finds that it is beneficial to conserve
1.8 energy in all forms for conservation, to reduce oppressive glare
1.9 of lighting, to minimize artificial light pollution, and to
1.10 preserve the night environment. The legislature requests the
1.11 cooperation of public and private utilities, billboard owners,
1.12 commercial and industrial businesses, and others owning or
1.13 operating outdoor lights to reduce artificial light pollution to
1.14 the greatest extent practicable.
1.15 Sec. 2. [116.935] [DEFINITIONS.]
1.16 Subdivision 1. [APPLICATION.] For the purposes of section
1.17 116.936, the definitions in this section have the meanings given.
1.18 Subd. 2. [ENERGY CONSERVATION.] "Energy conservation"
1.19 means reducing energy costs and resources used and includes
1.20 using a light with lower wattage or time controls.
1.21 Subd. 3. [FULL CUTOFF LUMINAIRE.] "Full cutoff luminaire"
1.22 means a luminaire in which 2.5 percent or less of the lamp
1.23 lumens are emitted above a horizontal plane through the
1.24 luminaire's lowest part and ten percent or less of the lamp
1.25 lumens are emitted at a vertical angle 80 degrees above the
2.1 luminaire's lowest point.
2.2 Subd. 4. [LIGHT POLLUTION.] "Light pollution" means the
2.3 night sky glow caused by the scattering of artificial light in
2.4 the atmosphere.
2.5 Subd. 5. [OUTDOOR LIGHTING FIXTURE.] "Outdoor lighting
2.6 fixture" means any type of fixed or movable lighting equipment
2.7 that is designed or used for illumination outdoors. The term
2.8 includes billboard lighting, streetlights, searchlights, and
2.9 other lighting used for advertising purposes, and area
2.10 lighting. The term does not include lighting equipment that is
2.11 required by law to be installed on motor vehicles or lighting
2.12 required for the safe operation of aircraft.
2.13 Sec. 3. [116.936] [STANDARDS FOR STATE-FUNDED OUTDOOR
2.14 LIGHTING FIXTURES.]
2.15 (a) An outdoor lighting fixture may be installed, replaced,
2.16 maintained, or operated using public funds only if:
2.17 (1) the new or replacement outdoor lighting fixture is a
2.18 full cutoff luminaire if the rated output of the outdoor
2.19 lighting fixture is greater than 1,800 lumens;
2.20 (2) the minimum illuminance adequate for the intended
2.21 purpose is used with consideration given to nationally
2.22 recognized standards;
2.23 (3) for lighting of a designated highway of the state
2.24 highway system, the department of transportation determines that
2.25 the purpose of the outdoor lighting fixture cannot be achieved
2.26 by the installation of reflective road markers, lines, warning
2.27 or informational signs, or other effective passive methods; and
2.28 (4) full consideration has been given to energy
2.29 conservation and savings, reducing glare, minimizing light
2.30 pollution, and preserving the natural night environment.
2.31 (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply if:
2.32 (1) a federal law, rule, or regulation preempts state law;
2.33 (2) the outdoor lighting fixture is used on a temporary
2.34 basis because emergency personnel require additional
2.35 illumination for emergency procedures;
2.36 (3) the outdoor lighting fixture is used on a temporary
3.1 basis for nighttime work;
3.2 (4) special events or situations require additional
3.3 illumination as long as the illumination installed shields the
3.4 outdoor lighting fixtures from direct view and minimizes upward
3.5 lighting and light pollution;
3.6 (5) the outdoor lighting fixture is used solely to enhance
3.7 the aesthetic beauty of a single object; or
3.8 (6) a compelling safety interest exists that cannot be
3.9 addressed by another method.