SPRINGFIELD – To alleviate the negative impacts light pollution poses on our state’s environment, State Senator Laura Ellman passed a measure out of the Senate to implement responsible outdoor lighting standards.

“We may not immediately think of light as a source of pollution or consider the impacts that artificial light creates,” said Ellman (D-Naperville). “This impact includes migratory birds, nocturnal insects, people who cannot experience a natural night, and our expenditure of resources.”

Light pollution refers to the brightening of the night sky by man-made light sources, including street lights and buildings. Excessive light in our night sky causes a variety of issues, such as interfering with bird migration, nocturnal insects and our optical health.

Senate Bill 3501 would create the Outdoor Lighting Control Act, which would require all newly state-funded luminaries purchased for land or structures owned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to follow specific outdoor lighting requirements established by the American National Standards Institute and Illuminating Engineering Society.

“This legislation reflects our state’s commitment to reducing pollution on all fronts of biological health,” said Ellman. “We are learning more and more about the broad impact of the natural cycle of light and darkness — from our circadian rhythms to animal’s instinctive patterns — but when our dark skies become compromised by man-made artificial light, it is our responsibility to put necessary protections in place.”

The measure passed the Senate on Thursday and now heads to the House for further consideration.