New legislation seeks to reduce light pollution in Nashville

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As Nashville continues to grow, so will light pollution in and around the city. Newly proposed dark sky legislation may make it much easier to see the stars here in Nashville. News 2 spoke with Burkley Allen, Metro Council Member At Large, who is sponsoring this legislation.

The legislation will not require any changes for existing properties, just new construction. “The legislation would provide guidelines for new construction for multi-family and commercial properties. And simply says three things only use as much light as you need. Use it when you need it and dim it when you don’t need it, and aim it where you need it and not in your neighbor’s eyes or windows. And not straight up into the sky.”

Vanderbilt’s Dyer Observatory will also benefit from less light pollution. According to Dr. Billy Teets, Director of the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory, light pollution is a big problem for astronomers. “So light pollution is one of the big enemies of astronomy because, you know, we’re looking up in the sky, we’re trying to see, especially faint things like galaxies or star clusters or nebulae, and even just moderate light pollution can really hinder our ability to see those things, if not make it impossible to see some of those things.

There’s still some time before this legislation passes, but Allen tells us that there’s been a lot of support so far. “It will be in front of the Metro planning commission in February and in front of the Metro council in March for second reading. And then there’s a third reading before it finally passes.”

This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.

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