A new organization (CSSD) was formed this week comprised of the gas drilling industry and environmental groups that have reached agreement to create a system to set standards for reducing the effects of shale drilling. The article is here:
According to the article, multiple states will be covered but it does not mention any outdoor lighting or flaring controls.
The CSSD has a comment page set up for receiving comments. If you are so inclined, please consider requesting that they include exterior lighting and flaring standards to address the problem of light pollution. The CSSD comment page is here:
If they don't get comments from the astronomical community, I doubt lighting issues will be addressed. Below are the comments I provided:
My recommendation is the CSSD should include flaring and lighting requirements in its standards to avoid the problems of light pollution such as glare, light trespass, energy waste and skyglow. The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) maintains a list of IDA approved shielded light fixtures and also has developed lighting codes jointly with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA). See
Utilizing the IDA approved light fixtures and CSSD adoption of the IDA/IESNA lighting codes would address lighting problems for adjacent land owners. It would also avoid the light pollution as documented in the 2012 NASA Earth Observatory images showing wasted light and skyglow in North Dakota and Pennsylvania from gas drilling operations. See:
Having standards that limit flaring operations to daytime or during New Moon periods, as is being done in sensitive areas of PA, would help preserve our disappearing night sky resource.
Thanks for your consideration of this request.
Gary Honis, P.E.