OFFICE OF PUBLIC POLICY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
Please continue to direct all general inquiries to IDA Tucson, AZ, USA. We will be happy to forward your communication to the appropriate contact.
IDA Government Affairs & Public Policy
Director: Bob Parks
2011 Appropriations for Research
2011 Appropriations for Research is available for review.
Follow-up action on the Senate Energy Bill (2 March 2010)
While the current debate on health care raging in the U.S. Congress has delayed finalization of the Senate energy bill, the hiatus is granting members of the IDA Washington office more opportunities for action. IDA’s issue-driven, bipartisan approach continues to be well received on Capitol Hill. IDA’s main objective in Congress is to advocate for the insertion of key language into the bill, and the extended time period has allowed us to expand our scope. Original focus issues involve:
These initial objectives have been expanded to include a call for research into better lighting technology and the allocation of funds to examine the correlation between artificial lighting and human and environmental health.
The current Congressional climate has given IDA additional time to liaise with federal agencies that might be interested in funding research individually or as partners. IDA is also strengthening the connection with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and has plans to talk to EPA departmental staff about high CCT white light and its potential impact on the environment.
Additionally, IDA is preparing to interface with national wellness organizations such as Health and Human Services and the National Institute of Health. Our position on energy legislation and the current pursuit of funding opportunities for research on white light offers numerous benefits to groups concerned with energy use, carbon output, and ecosystem and environmental health. The IDA Washington office continues to meet with a variety of environmental groups to encourage directions of shared interest.
Congressional Letter to Dr. Chu at the Department of Energy (23 November 2009)
Representatives Steve Israel, Raul Grijalva, Rush Holt and Gabrielle Giffords signed a letter to Secretary Steven Chu asking him to support essential research into the potential negative impact of Solid State Lighting on the glare, environment and sky glow.
IDA Holds Briefings in House and Senate(22 July 2009)
On Monday, 13 July and Tuesday, 14 July, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) conducted informational briefings for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, respectively. Similar to briefings held last summer, these sessions were intended as a general introduction to the problems caused by light pollution and what can be done to reduce wasted outdoor lighting. This year, topics included the possible impacts of current legislation. Both briefings were well attended
by legislators and Congressional aides. The House briefing was co-sponsored by Reps. Gabrielle Giffords (AZ 8), Raul Grijalva (AZ 7), and John Culberson (TX 7).
The co-host and keynote speaker at the Senate briefing was Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska. Senator Begich implemented a major LED lighting installation when he was mayor of Anchorage, creating an estimated savings of 50 percent compared to other lighting systems. His presentation noted that 30 p ercent of the light coming from 35 million U.S. streetlights is wasted because it misses the target area – the street. This wasted light creates glare and sky glow.
Additional speakers included Bob Parks, Managing Director of IDA’s new Washington Office, Terry McGowan, IDA Board Member and Director of IDA’s Technical Committee, and Chad Moore, Director of the National Parks Service Night Sky Program. In addition to delivering information on topics familiar to IDA members, they discussed the potential impact of developing energy efficient solid state lighting for outdoor lighting applications. Solid state lighting produces bluer light than most outdoor lighting currently in use. More research is needed to determine if the bluer, higher color temperature light will create more light pollution, and whether less of the new light is needed. IDA is pursuing funding for this research while continuing to educate Congress about the issue.
View the speakers' presentations:
Article: Reclaiming the Nighttime Sky
by Judith H. Dobrzynski, the New Republic, USA, 03 March, 2009
Will 2009 be the year the federal government finally takes light pollution seriously? That's the hope of the International Dark-Sky Association, a Tucson-based group that just opened an office in Washington, D.C. The move is a sign that the IDA is expanding its mission beyond simply educating the public about the perils of too much light during the nighttime. Going forward, it also plans to educate the federal government—specifically the EPA—on the subject. Read more >>
DC Office Opening
The International Dark-Sky Association is proud to announce the establishment of a new office in Washington, DC, USA. (02 March 2009) Read press release >>