June 30, 2008
Sponsored by Representatives John Culberson (R-TX07), Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ08), and Steve Israel (D-NY02), a June 20 briefing provided a platform to inform the U.S. government that light pollution should be considered at the federal level. Bipartisan Congressional staff, members of the Green the Capitol program, and DC representatives of astronomical and conservation groups heard evidence on light pollution and the dire consequences of the degradation of the night skies. Following an informative session including a number of easily implemented solutions, a sign-on letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was distributed. The letter called on the EPA to define light pollution and incorporate research and public outreach into their agenda. The sign-on letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson is the first step toward the recognition of light pollution as a widespread and environmentally sensitive issue.
Raising awareness on light pollution is imperative to initiating legislation that protects dark skies at the federal level. This briefing awakened numerous parties to the far-reaching effects of the loss of the night and provided valuable information to a number of institutions that further the IDA cause. Click here for a full report of the briefing