SENATE BILL 620
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Elizabeth "Liz” Stefanics and Nathan P. Small
RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENT; PROHIBITING CERTAIN USES OF LIGHT FIXTURES THAT CAUSE LIGHT TRESPASS OR A HAZARDOUS GLARE; INCREASING PENALTIES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 74-12-1 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1999, Chapter 197, Section 1) is amended to read:
"74-12-1. SHORT TITLE.--[This act] Chapter 74, Article 12 NMSA 1978 may be cited as the "Night Sky Protection Act"."
SECTION 2. Section 74-12-2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1999, Chapter 197, Section 2) is amended to read:
"74-12-2. PURPOSE.--The purpose of the Night Sky Protection Act is to regulate outdoor night lighting fixtures to preserve and enhance the state's dark sky while promoting public safety and health, conserving energy and preserving the aesthetic, cultural and scientific value of the nighttime environment [for astronomy]."
SECTION 3. Section 74-12-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1999, Chapter 197, Section 3) is amended to read:
"74-12-3. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Night Sky Protection Act:
A. "hazardous glare" means an emission of light from a fixture that creates a brightness that substantially affects or requires a person to divert the person's vision;
B. "light trespass" means an emission of light from a fixture that is not properly shielded, causing the light to extend beyond the property of its origin;
[A.] C. "outdoor lighting fixture" means an outdoor artificial illuminating device, whether permanent or portable, used for illumination or advertisement, including searchlights, spotlights and floodlights, whether for architectural lighting, parking lot lighting, landscape lighting, billboards or street lighting; and
[B.] D. "shielded" means a fixture that is shielded in such a manner that light rays emitted by the fixture, either directly from the lamp or indirectly from the fixture, are projected below a horizontal plane running through the lowest point on the fixture where light is emitted."
SECTION 4. Section 74-12-4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1999, Chapter 197, Section 4) is amended to read:
"74-12-4. SHIELDING OF OUTDOOR LIGHT FIXTURES.--All outdoor lighting fixtures installed after [January 1, 2000] July 1, 2019 shall be shielded, except incandescent fixtures [of one hundred fifty watts or less and other sources of seventy watts] that emit one thousand eight hundred lumens or less, are angled downward at least forty-five degrees and do not create a light trespass."
SECTION 5. Section 74-12-7 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1999, Chapter 197, Section 7) is amended to read:
A. Provided that a light source does not create a hazardous glare, the following are exempt from the requirements of the Night Sky Protection Act:
(1) outdoor lighting fixtures on advertisement signs on interstates and federal primary highways;
(2) outdoor lighting fixtures existing and legally installed prior to the effective date of the Night Sky Protection Act; however, when existing lighting fixtures become unrepairable, their replacements are subject to all the provisions of the Night Sky Protection Act;
(3) navigational lighting systems at airports and other lighting necessary for aircraft safety; and
(4) outdoor lighting fixtures that are necessary for worker safety at farms, ranches, dairies, feedlots or industrial, mining or oil and gas facilities.
B. The provisions of the Night Sky Protection Act are cumulative and supplemental and shall not apply within any county or municipality that, by ordinance or resolution, has adopted provisions restricting light pollution that are equal to or more stringent than the provisions of the Night Sky Protection Act."
SECTION 6. Section 74-12-10 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1999, Chapter 197, Section 10) is amended to read:
"74-12-10. VIOLATIONS--PENALTY.--Any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of the Night Sky Protection Act shall be punished as follows:
A. for a first offense, the offender may be issued a warning; and
B. for a second offense or offense that continues for thirty days from the date of the warning, [twenty-five dollars ($25.00) minus the replacement cost] five hundred dollars ($500) for each offending fixture."
SECTION 7. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2019.
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