Maine eyes law to keep night sky dark

Posted Feb. 05, 2009, at 3:05 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Supporters of a bill designed to keep Maine’s night skies dark say it would help the state preserve an important resource that’s disappearing or gone in other states: glittering starlight.

The Committee on Business, Research and Economic Development took testimony Thursday on a bill that calls for statewide lighting standards for new commercial projects. Lawmakers were told that measures to keep light from going into the sky would save energy and preserve a resource that makes Maine special.

They were also told that thousands of more stars are visible in Maine than in other regional states.

The State Planning Office supports the bill and says light pollution regulations are already included in regulatory development standards by some agencies.

The Maine Municipal Association’s Jeff Austin says the idea isn’t bad, but that a single statewide standard isn’t the way to go because conditions vary region to region.

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