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Friday, 08 May 2015 02:24cat

40,000 Buildings in New York may have to Switch off the Lights

Written by  TheStructuralEngineer.info
40,000 Buildings in New York may have to Switch off the Lights HD Wall Papers

Legislation introduced by New York City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Queens) would prohibit the exterior and interior lighting at night for roughly 40,000 buildings. The bill is a part of the city’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Decreased lighting usage is of particular interest to meet this goal as 70 percent of New York’s carbon emissions come from buildings in the city. The bill states that a $1000 fine will be issued for non-compliance.

Critics of the bill protest that it does not go far enough in consideration of tenant and pedestrian safety.

“Lighting in our commercial buildings is important for our city’s productivity, and for the safety or out tenants, staff and neighbors,” Real Estate Board of New York Vice President Angela Sung Pinsky testified at a council hearing.

She stated that thousands of building owners, citing safety concerns, would likely seek waivers.

There are exceptions carved out for small stores and landmarks like the Empire State Building.

Mayor De Blasio’s deputy of sustainability, John Lee, said the mayor would back the mandate with a few adjustments, which might include broadening exemptions for security.

“Light pollution affects the quality of life for New Yorkers as well as animals, in particular birds,” Lee said. “Lights that are left on in empty offices and retail spaces at night waste electricity and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.”

It’s a simple conservation measure – according to Councilman Richards. He noted that on top of the waste, excessive light at night interferes with everything from sea turtle breeding to the migration of monarch butterflies.

“We are very wasteful here in New York City. There’s no reason for commercial buildings to have their (lights) on for 24 hours a day,” Stated Richards.

The bill is currently backed by 13 members, half the number needed to pass.

 

Sources: NY Daily News, New York Post

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