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Leamington passes new bylaw to reduce greenhouse lighting at night

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The Municipality of Leamington has passed a new bylaw to reduce greenhouse lighting.

The council repealed and replaced an earlier regulation and introduced an updated regulation requiring measures to reduce interior lighting in greenhouses.

The new regulations also provide specific times for closing ceiling curtains to reduce greenhouse light emissions, between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m., unlike the previous regulations which only referred to an hour before bedtime. sun and one hour after sunrise.

Mayor Hilda MacDonald says they will allow a few hours for spacing, which involves releasing the heat trapped inside the greenhouses by opening some of the ceiling curtains.

“That was a specific request. When releasing the heat from the greenhouses, they’re only allowed to spread 10%,” she says. “There will be some light but not enough to intrude on too many people’s sleep patterns.”

Deviation will only be allowed between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

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Greenhouse Glow in Essex Country (Steve Bastien/Facebook)

MacDonald says they hope to reduce the dramatic effect of bright light penetrating the night sky, which can be seen from Windsor and Lake Erie in parts of the United States.

“We tried to strike a balance, but also recognizing that in an industry that feeds the people of our country,” she says. “It’s a reliable and safe food source, we certainly don’t want to crush it, but there definitely needs to be regulation, which is what we’re trying to do.”

The Council is also setting deadlines for greenhouse operators to purchase and install ceiling curtains, keeping in mind supply chain issues and delays resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective October 1, 2022, greenhouse owners who have not installed ceiling curtains must provide proof of purchase thereof, and by October 1, 2023, ceiling curtains must be installed and closed in accordance with the provisions of the regulations.