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July 17, 2023

Lights Out Bill

Connecticut Capitol Building
Connecticut Capitol Building

Gov. Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act 23-143 intended to mitigate light pollution’s harmful effect. The “Lights Out” bill, as it was termed, specifies that “nonessential outdoor lighting” at state-owned buildings not needed for safety or functionality, as determined by agency heads, shall be turned off between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

It also requires the State Building Inspector and the Code and Standards Committee to consider a change in lighting design to effectuate the bill’s purpose for any revision to the State Building Code to take effect beginning on January 1, 2024.

The Connecticut Audubon Society wrote, “At one building in New Haven, more than 400 dead birds of 56 species were found from 2018 to 2022.”

The State Capitol is exempt from the legislation.

The Connecticut River Gateway Commission has asked the eight towns in the Zone to include a new standard concerning light pollution in their regulations to address the effects of excessive night lighting on both human health and nature.

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