Tumwater takes steps to curb light pollution
“First In South Sound: Ordinance requires most new, replaced outdoor lights to be shielded and directed downward”
“The city of Tumwater is the first jurisdiction in South Sound to adopt an ordinance aimed at reducing light pollution from outdoor lighting.
The ordinance, approved by the City Council this month, requires most newly installed or replaced outdoor lighting to be fully shielded and directed downward so it doesnt shoot into the sky, create an unsafe glare for drivers or trespass into neighbors homes and property.
It will be years, if not longer, before the ordinance will make a measurable dent in South Sound light pollution, city officials said.
But it places Tumwater with a growing group of communities in the region, nation and beyond that recognize uncontrolled night light as a waste of energy and money.
It has been estimated that one-third of outdoor light spills out and upward away from its intended target, according to a city staff report prepared before the council voted Nov. 2. That translates into an annual cost in the United States of about $4.5 billion, the report says.
Medical evidence also suggests that exposure to light at night is hard on human health, putting the body at risk for certain diseases, including breast cancer, according to the city staff report.
Light pollution also obscures vision of the night sky and the stars and galaxies otherwise visible to the naked eye,” quoting The Olympian.