Local & Regional News
11:22 am
Wed March 11, 2015

UPDATE: Arkansas House Panel Rejects Bill To Reduce Light Pollution

light pollution
The proposed bill would require city and county governments to use energy efficient lighting when replacing street lights such as these in Little Rock to reduce glare.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A House committee has rejected a proposal intended to reduce light pollution in Arkansas.

The Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development declined to advance the bill in a voice vote on Wednesday.

Republican Rep. Stephen Meeks says his bill would save tax dollars and protect the environment. The 13-page bill would require city and county governments to use energy efficient lighting when replacing fixtures and attempt to reduce glare from billboards and onto private property.

The bill was opposed by the Arkansas Municipal League, the state transportation department and the city of Little Rock. Lobbyists warned lawmakers the changes would place unnecessary burdens on municipalities and that lighting decisions should be made locally.

Meeks said his bill would not see the light of day again.

EARLIER REPORT:

An Arkansas House panel is set to consider a proposal to darken nighttime skies through the reduction of light pollution.

Republican Rep. Stephen Meeks says he plans to run his bill Wednesday morning before the House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development. He says it will save tax dollars and protect the environment.

The 13-page bill would change how cities replace most outdoor lighting but not impact private businesses. It would require city and county governments to conserve energy and reduce light trespass and glare.