SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1577        FILED ON: 1/20/2017

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1833

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Cynthia Stone Creem

_________________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act improving outdoor lighting and increasing dark-sky visibility.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

 

Cynthia Stone Creem

First Middlesex and Norfolk

 

Marjorie C. Decker

25th Middlesex

2/2/2017

Eileen M. Donoghue

First Middlesex

2/3/2017

Alice Hanlon Peisch

14th Norfolk

2/3/2017

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

1/8/2018

 


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1577        FILED ON: 1/20/2017

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1833

By Ms. Creem, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 1833) of Cynthia S. Creem, Marjorie C. Decker, Eileen M. Donoghue and Alice Hanlon Peisch for legislation to promote energy efficient lighting, conserve energy, regulate outdoor night lighting, and reduce light pollution.  Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy.

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE SENATE, NO. 1751 OF 2015-2016.]

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the One Hundred and Ninetieth General Court
(2017-2018)

_______________

 

An Act improving outdoor lighting and increasing dark-sky visibility.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

SECTION 1. Chapter 85 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:

Section 38. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

“Correlated color temperature”, the apparent hue of the light emitted by a fixture, expressed in kelvins.

“Direct light”, light emitted by a fixture, whether from the light source or a reflector or through a refractor.

“Façade lighting”, a permanent outdoor fixture that is specifically intended to illuminate the exterior surface of a building or structure.

“Fixture”, a complete lighting unit, including a light source together with the parts designed to distribute the light, to position and protect the light source and connect the light source to the power supply.

“Fixture lumens”, total lumens emitted by a fixture.

“Fully shielded fixture”, a fixture that emits no direct light above a horizontal plane through the fixture’s lowest light-emitting part, in its mounted position.

“Glare”, light emitted by a fixture that causes visual discomfort or reduced visibility.

“Illuminance”, the luminous power incident per unit area of a surface.

“Light trespass”, light that falls beyond the property it is intended to illuminate.

“Lumen”, a standard unit of measurement of the quantity of light emitted from a source of light.

“Ornamental roadway lighting”, a roadway-lighting fixture that serves a decorative function in addition to a roadway-lighting function and that has a historical period appearance or decorative appearance.

“Parking-lot lighting”, a permanent outdoor fixture specifically intended to illuminate an uncovered vehicle-parking area.

“Part-night service”, a rate charged by a utility company to provide unmetered electricity for permanent outdoor fixtures that operate for only a portion of each night’s dusk-to-dawn cycle.

“Permanent outdoor fixture”, a fixture for use in an exterior environment installed with mounting not intended for relocation.

“Roadway lighting”, a permanent outdoor fixture specifically intended to illuminate a public roadway.

“Sky glow”, scattered light in the atmosphere that is caused by light directed upward or sideways from fixtures, reducing an individual’s ability to view the natural night sky.

“State funds”, bond revenues or money appropriated or allocated by the general court.

(b) State funds shall not be used to install a new permanent outdoor fixture or to pay for the cost of operating a new permanent outdoor fixture unless:

(i) for roadway lighting or parking-lot lighting, whether mounted to poles, buildings or other structures and the fixture is fully shielded.

(ii) for a building-mounted fixture not specifically intended for roadway lighting, parking-lot lighting or façade lighting and the fixture is fully shielded when its initial fixture lumens is greater than 3000 lumens;

(iii) for façade lighting and the fixture is shielded to reduce glare, sky glow and light trespass to the greatest extent possible;

(iv) for an ornamental roadway lighting fixture and the fixture emits not more than 700 lumens above a horizontal plane through the fixture’s lowest light-emitting part;

(v) the light emitted by the fixture has a correlated color temperature that is not greater than 3000 kelvins; and

(vi) for roadway lighting unassociated with intersections of 2 or more streets or highways, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has determined that the purpose of the fixture installation cannot be achieved by installation of a reflectorized roadway marker, line, warning or informational sign or other passive means.

(c) This section shall not apply: (i) if it is preempted by federal law; (ii) if the outdoor lighting fixture is used temporarily for an emergency procedure or road repair; (iii) to navigational and other lighting systems necessary for aviation and nautical safety; (iv) to lighting for an athletic playing area; provided, however, that a fixture used therefor shall be selected and installed so as to minimize glare, light trespass and sky glow outside the athletic playing area; (v) if a compelling and bona fide safety or security need exists that cannot be addressed by another reasonable method; (vi) to the replacement of a previously installed permanent outdoor fixture that is destroyed, damaged or inoperative, has experienced electrical failure due to failed components, or requires standard maintenance; (vii) to lighting intended for a tunnel or roadway underpass; or (viii) to a special event or situation that might require additional illumination including, but not limited to, the illumination of a historic structure, monument or flag; provided, however, that the illumination shall be selected and installed to minimize glare, light trespass and sky glow to the greatest extent possible.

(d) The department of energy resources, in consultation with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, shall develop and promulgate regulations to implement and enforce this section. The regulations shall include system to ensure that the use of state funds, including, but not limited to, operating costs for new permanent outdoor fixtures for roadway lighting or parking lot lighting installed by electric distribution companies and municipal aggregators, comply with this section.

SECTION 2. The department of energy resources shall promulgate guidelines for illumination by new permanent outdoor fixtures for applications under section 38 of chapter 85 such that the illuminance levels required for the intended purpose as defined in the most recent edition of The Lighting Handbook published by the Illuminating Engineering Society may be used; provided, however, that if a municipal or county ordinance or regulation specifies a different illuminance level, the illuminance level required for the intended purpose by the ordinance or regulation may be used.

SECTION 3. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation shall review and issue a report on roadway lighting and lighting operational costs. The report shall include a review of warranting and other criteria for roadway lighting and an analysis of lighting operational costs, actions taken by the department to comply with current standards, procedures and accepted best practices relative to roadway lighting and a plan to reduce lighting operational costs through the replacement of existing lower-wattage, fully shielded fixtures and the replacement of unnecessary roadway lighting with the installation of passive safety measures. The department shall issue its report to the department of energy resources and the clerks of senate and the house of representatives not later than January 1, 2018.

SECTION 4. The department of public utilities shall, subject to its ratemaking authority, develop a rate for part-night service, dimming and controls-operated for unmetered roadway or parking-lot lighting to apply to each new electric utility rate case submitted after January 1, 2018.

SECTION 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on July 1, 2018.