University Lowbrow Astronomers

Southeast Michigan Light Pollution Issues

by Dave Snyder

Southeast Michigan Light Pollution Issues

Lighting from buildings, streetlights and so on create light pollution which makes it difficult to view the night sky. This page discusses light pollution issues affecting Dexter Township (located in Southeast Michigan) and other communities in Southeast Michigan.

Existing Light Pollution Ordinances

Many communities have created ordinances to control lighting in response to increased public awareness of light pollution. Not only does this reduce light pollution, it reduces costs and is better for the environment. The following is a list of existing light pollution ordinances from communities in Southeast Michigan.

Proposed Light Pollution Ordinances

A number of communities are considering implementing light pollution ordinances. If you are concerned about light pollution and you live in the city of Ann Arbor or Livonia, show your support for ordinances that have been proposed but not implemented in these two cites. If you live in other cities, find out if there is any light pollution ordinances for your city. If there aren’t find out why.

Lake Hudson Dark Sky Preserve

With the passage of Michigan Public Act 57, 1993 (MCL 322.821-826), Michigan became the first state in the nation to designate a tract of land as a “Dark Sky Preserve,” where nighttime lighting is controlled with the intent of preserving an area for the enjoyment of the night sky. This Preserve is located in the Lake Hudson Recreational Area located near Hillsdale, Michigan. However, Michigan Law (Section 75106, MCL 324.75106) states

This part is repealed on June 10, 2003.

So the Dark Sky Preserve will no longer be protected after 2003.

There are two bills in the Michigan congress to extend the law. First, Senate Bill 430 was introduced April 26, 2001 by Senator Hammerstrom and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs. If the bill passes, section 75106 would be amended to read:

This part is repealed on June 10, 2005.

Since this only postpones the “sunset” clause for two years, this bill is not ideal. Another bill, House Bill Number 4696, was introduced in May 1, 2001 by Representatives Spade, Bisbee, Lipsey, Pappageorge, Thomas, Bernero, Zelenko, Birkholz, Neumann, Bovin, Wojno, Kolb, Mans, Schauer, Lockwood, Bob Brown, O’Neil, Dennis, Vander Roest, Vear, Kowall, Richardville, George, DeVuyst, LaSata, Godchaux, Scranton, Jacobs, Voorhees, Cassis, Rocca, Hansen and Sheltrown. It was referred to the Committee on Conservation and Outdoor Recreation.

If enacted, this bill would repeal section 75106, as a result the Dark Sky Preserve would continue to be protected.

More Information

More information about Light Pollution.


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