The International Dark-Sky Association is proud to announce the establishment of a new office in Washington, DC, USA. Located at South Building, Suite 900, 601 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20004, the office creates an immediate presence in standards-making organizations and Congress while generating increased opportunities for light pollution education and promoting preservation of the night sky. Officially opened 2 March, 2009 as a public policy adjunct to IDA headquarters in Tucson, AZ, the IDA DC office offers sustained contact with key policymakers and international non-governmental organizations.
Capitalizing on a fresh administration, a worldwide interest in sustainable energy use, and rapidly changing lighting technology, IDA’s arrival inside the Beltway is timed for maximum impact. IDA’s known expertise promises to make the DC office a hub of influence in policy, education, and future research on lighting. Plans to hold additional educational briefings to both houses of Congress are already underway. Immediate goals are to meet with government agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss lighting research and public education. Contacts with the Department of Energy to integrate outdoor lighting policy into energy efficiency strategies currently under evaluation are also being made. The DC office will be working closely with the National Park Service to promote new standards for outdoor lighting in parks to increase energy efficiency, reduce light pollution, and help to maintain the wilderness experience.
Bob Parks, director of the DC office, intends to pursue outreach opportunities with independent non-profit associations as well as with federal organizations and industry groups. Mr. Parks has had continuous experience collaborating with groups and policymakers since founding the Virginia Outdoor Lighting Taskforce in 2000.
IDA has had a presence in DC under IDA member Milt Roney since late 2007. Mr. Roney continues his involvement as the associate director for the DC office, bringing a lifetime of civil service to the playing field. The IDA managing director, Pete Strasser, looks forward to working with the DC team, saying, “The DC office opens IDA to unprecedented networking opportunities. A presence in Washington will create a constant voice in favor of sensible outdoor lighting, and I look forward to tangible results under their leadership.”