The Clean Air at Night as well – a template for amending Clean Air Acts in the European Union and all over the world

Night atmosphere has a quite specific pollutant: man-made light. The legal measures how to minimise this type of pollution have been introduced with success in eight Italian provinces already (another provinces have, on the contrary, a ‘softer’ legislation which does not help).

The leading world experts from Italy have offered (in 2000 already) their legislation as a template for the whole EU. Unfortunately, no progress had been made at this level since then: in spite of (slowly) rising awareness of the problem, pollution of the natural darkness in Europe is getting worse.

I tried to formulate the necessary and sufficient set of rules (such a set, which would really bring a healthy night back again, in the long run) in a slightly different wording. The result, a draft from September 2007, is available as pdf version.

The first two definitions given there are a consequence of the need to include protection against man-made light into the standard Clean Air Act in its structure valid in Czechia. Perhaps another laws protecting the atmosphere use similar categories and units.

I should stress that, apart from the two introductory articles, the current set is the minimum one which could work. There could be lots of pollution even from installations which obey this basic set of rules. But definitely much less pollution than from those which don't!

I'd be grateful for any proposals how to change this basic set to make it better.

I hope this set (with eventual contributions from you) will be supported by the participants of the “Dark Sky” Symposium in Bled, October 2007 and recommended by this top European expert forum to the EU and its member countries.

Jenik Hollan, hollan at

The current draft differs from the July 1, 2004 version by saying ‘not shine horizontally and upwards’ instead of saying ‘shine exclusively down’. This is easier to understand. Moreover, limits for laser skybeamers have been added and a non-English term ‘imissions’ avoided.