The Czech Act on Protection of the Air, including Light Pollution prevention

Below are the light-pollution relevant parts of the new Czech law on protection of the atmosphere (a ``clean air act'') as signed Wednesday, February 27 by the Czech president Vaclav Havel and as should be valid since June 1, 2002.

Concrete measures in both light pollution and greenhouse emissions prevention are up to future implementation rules demanded by the law.

For the light pollution, the present draft of the regulations which should be issued by the government follows closely the Lombardy law. The 0cd/klm (i.e., FS, Fully Shielded) rule is a key part of it.

The law itself (a large one, dealing with all kinds of pollution of the air) and the drafts of the implementation rules are available in Czech at the moment, e.g. at a Czech page (the Czech text itself as, e.g., 0.3 MB html file or an official pdf file (1,2 MB)).

There is already a preliminary English translation of the whole law I got from the administration for my collaborators, if you would have any suggestions to it, please write me.

The following very short excerpts from the law are divided by ... meaning the not translated parts (usually orders of magnitude longer than the translated ones). They are now a mix of my old attempt and the draft of an official translation of the whole Act.


Act from Feb 14, 2002

on Protection of the Atmosphere and Amendment of Some Other Acts
(the Clean Air Act)

   The Parliament of the Czech Republic has adopted this Act of the Czech

   Part One

   Protection of the Atmosphere

   Chapter I
   General provisions

   Scope of regulation

    1. This Act provides

    a. the rights and obligations of persons and the scope of
       administrative authorities in the course of protection of the
       outdoor air against input of pollutants by human activities and in
       the course of manipulating the regulated substances which damage
       the ozone layer of the Earth and manipulating the products
       containing such substances,
    b. conditions for further reduction of the amount of emitted
       pollutants affecting adversely the life and health of people and
       animals, the environment or the tangible property,
    c. tools to reduce the amount of substances affecting the
       climate system of the Earth,
    d. measures for lowering the light pollution of the air.

    2. This Act does not concern the input of radionuclides into the
       environment, which is dealt with by a special law.

   Principal concepts

    1. For the purpose of this Act in the domain of protection of the air
       it is understood by

    a. outdoor air the tropospheric air, with exception of the
       air on workplaces designated by a special legal regulation
       and in confined space (hereinafter referred to as the ``air''),

    r. light pollution every form of illumination by artificial light
       which is dispersed outside the areas it is dedicated to,
       particularly, if directed above the level of horizon.


   Obligations of legal and natural persons

    1. Everybody shall be obliged to limit and prevent the air pollution
       and reduce the quantities of pollutants specified by this Act and
       relevant implementation rules and discharged by himself/herself.
   10. During activities in places and areas specified by the implementation
       set of rules, everybody is obliged to obey the dispositions of the
       relevant municipal authority and, in accord with that, take
       measures to prevent the occurrence of light pollution of the air.
   12. The implementation set of rules shall specify
       the places and areas, where no occurrence of light pollution is allowed,
       activities, which are subject to the obligation according to item 10,
       measures to lower or prevent the occurrence of light pollution
       and the values of the upper limit of light pollution.

   Chapter VI
   Remedial measures and penalties

   10. A Fine from CZK 500 to 150 000 shall be imposed by the municipal
       authorities upon a person,
       who violates at least one of the obligations laid down in
        3 item 5 or 10.


   Chapter VII
   Execution of administration competences in the segment of protection
   of air , ozone layer and Earth climatic system



    1. The municipal authorities, within their delegated competences,

    k. issue regulations, by which they may, on their territory,
       constitute a measure according to  3 item 10 to lower or prevent
       the occurrence of light pollution of the air.

    2. The municipal authorities, in their delegated competences, shall
       check on

    d. adherence to obligations according to  3 item 5 and 10
       and impose fines for any failure to meet these obligations.

   Chapter VIII

   Joint, interim and nullification provisions



   Statutory authorisation to issue implementation rules

    1. The Government shall issue its statutory order for the
       implementation of
        3 Art. 12,
        4 Art. 12,  5 Art. 12 and  6 Art. 9 and  7 Art. 11.


Two comments to the formulations inside the law:

The ``level of horizon'' formula inside the definition is perhaps not the best possible expression (``line of horizon'', like in Lombardy law, or just ``horizon'' may suit better), but it suffices of course.

The perhaps mysterious formula ``places and areas, where no occurrence of light pollution is allowed'' might concern true-night-reserves (like nature areas without dwellings) only, but the definition taken from the Article 6 of the Lombardy law complies with it as well: ``systems, constituted by lighting apparatuses, having the maximum light intensity of 0 cd per 1000 lumen to 90 and beyond are considered as not light polluting...''

jenik hollan, May 1, 2002

(some more info on quality lighting in Czechia see at