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Letters About Light Pollution - Examples

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#1 earlyriser

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 03:43 PM

I thought it might be helpful to have a thread where folks could post letters they've sent to city counsel, neighbors, etc. for others to use as templates or inspiration for their own letter writing. I've seen a few threads with letters in them, but no single place to go and see different types. Below is a link to one I posted a while back in another letter thread:

 

https://www.cloudyni...urch/?p=8869730

 

I've got another one I'll post shortly.



#2 earlyriser

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 03:46 PM

Below is an email I sent to the North Carolina Dare County commissioners:

 

Dear Commissioners:

 

After 20 years of vacationing in Myrtle Beach, last summer we rented a house in Rodanthe for our family vacation. One of the reasons we chose the Outer Banks this year is that it is one of the last places on the east coast where you can still see the Milky Way. I must confess, it was quite an experience to go out on the deck in the evening and see the Milky Way stretching across the sky surrounded by thousands of stars. It added a whole new dimension to our vacation.

 

Unfortunately, this extraordinary view of the universe and the distinctiveness it provides to your region may be endangered. Light pollution caused by increased levels of outdoor lighting that is unnecessarily intense and poorly aimed could, if left unchecked, obscure the beauty of your night sky. A case in point is the Dollar General in Rodanthe. (Image attached).

 

The exterior lights at the Dollar General send a significant amount of light skyward and create a large amount of glare on nearby streets and properties. This spill light represents more than just wasted energy, it also has negative impacts on wildlife such as migrating birds, creates visual discomfort in passersby, and increases star-obscuring sky-glow.

 

Light pollution is easily prevented through proper lighting management, such as requiring shields that block uplight, adjusting the angle, layout, and height of lights to avoid emitting light into areas other than those that need to be lit, and limiting intensity to only what is needed for the safety and comfort of people in the area. There is really no reason for lights to generate large amounts of glare and uplight, or to light streets and parking lots as brightly as an athletic field.

 

I hope that you appreciate your night sky for the increasing rare sight that it is, and agree that it is worth preserving. You should also recognize that it is much easier to preserve the night sky you have than it will be to get it back if it is lost. Thus, I encourage you to control light pollution on the Outer Banks so that future generations can also be amazed by views of our galaxy.

 

Yours truly,

 

Scott

 

Family Dollar Small.jpg


Edited by earlyriser, 08 October 2019 - 03:51 PM.

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#3 CChristakis

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 03:54 PM

Nice thread!!  I recently tried reaching out to CSX regarding their evasive rail yard lighting near my house.   However, their website had me go through an automated online submission of my complaint/concerns.

It's been a few weeks now and I haven't received any response.   I would be interested in seeing other letters.  I think a letter or email follow up will be needed.



#4 MikeMiller

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 04:04 PM

Nice thread!!  I recently tried reaching out to CSX regarding their evasive rail yard lighting near my house.   However, their website had me go through an automated online submission of my complaint/concerns.

It's been a few weeks now and I haven't received any response.   I would be interested in seeing other letters.  I think a letter or email follow up will be needed.

I have found that contacting businesses directly, especially giant multinational ones, will result in no reply or a "we are sorry but not sorry enough to do anything about it" reply.

 

Try getting in touch with a local wildlife, nature, or parks organization. The only way a huge company will get the picture is with political pressure.

 

As always, see if the IDA has a chapter or contact in your state. If not... start one!



#5 earlyriser

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 04:18 PM

Here is one I wrote to an engineering firm that was responsible for a gross emitter of light pollution. I sent this one through snail mail, and I don't know if he ever read it. I also can't remember which pictures I selected to send with the email - I have a lot. I plan to follow-up with the chemical company. Most big companies have some sort of "Green" initiative, so I like to point out how they could help advance that initiative by cutting their light pollution. The hard part is often getting in contact with the right person.

 

XXX XXXXXXX
President and CEO
Eco Engineering, Inc.
11815 Hwy Dr #600
Sharonville, OH 45241

 

Dear Mr. XXXXXXX:

 

Each morning on my way to work, I pass the EMD Millipore plant at 2828 Highland Avenue. The glare emitted by the lighting there is such that I eventually felt compelled to bring it to the attention of someone at EMD Millipore. (See enclosed photographs). While investigating who to contact, I discovered Eco Engineering was responsible for the lighting. (See enclosed Case Study). Although I am supportive of your commitment to the environment through reductions in energy consumption and proper disposal of old lighting, I believe there is more Eco Engineering can and should do.

 

The lights at EMD Millipore are not just an eyesore, and light being spilled off site is not just wasted. Rather, this spill light is unnecessarily contributing to light pollution, which has been linked to various human health issues, has negative impacts on the ecosystem and wildlife, and obscures the beauty of the night sky. I do not know if a photometric study was done as part of the comprehensive plan for this site, but if one was, it appears that controlling glare and uplight was not a design objective.

 

Eco Engineering’s mission statement is to “Help customers identify and implement energy-saving solutions that deliver improved financial results while creating an ideal visual environment and preserving our world for future generations.” In view of the amount of light being wastefully spilled off site and into the sky, and the negative impact this spill light is having on the surrounding environment, it seems this installation does not fulfill your mission as completely as it could.

 

I realize there may not be much you can do at this point to improve the lighting at EMD Millipore, and that you have a business to run. My hope is that this feedback will motivate you to begin taking light pollution into consideration when designing future lighting installations. There are many companies that can help customers save energy by simply replacing existing lights with more efficient LED fixtures. If you want to set your company apart as a leader on environmental issues, I encourage you to take a more holistic approach to the environment when designing lighting installations.

 

If you would like to discuss the EMD Millipore site in more detail, or would like to talk for any other reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours truly,

 

chemical plant C.jpg

 

EMD Millipore from I-71 1600X1200.jpg


Edited by earlyriser, 09 October 2019 - 04:40 AM.

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#6 MikeMiller

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 10:12 PM

It is a bit ironic that a company called "Eco Engineering" is producing that much light pollution.

 

The attached pictures really drive home the eyesore these lighting solutions are creating.


Edited by MikeMiller, 08 October 2019 - 10:13 PM.



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