LA LEY DEL CIELO/THE SKY LAW Observatorios del Instituto de Astrofísica de Canar

OFICINA TECNICA PARA LA PROTECCION DE LA CALIDAD DEL CIELO

THE SKY LAW
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Ministry for the Parliament and the Government Secretariat
8705 Royal Decree 243/1992, 13 March, by which the regulations of Act 31/1988, 31 October, regarding the protection of the astronomical qualities of the observatories of the Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands are deemed passed.
The atmosphere above the summits of the islands of Tenerife and La Palma offers exceptional conditions for the carrying out of astronomical observations. Because of this, important telescopes and other astrophysics equipment are situated there under the protection of International Agreements established by Spain. These favourable conditions may be threatened by the increase in light interference from outdoor lighting, radio-electronic transmissions or the pollution of the atmosphere caused by industries and services, including slipstreams and exhaust gases from planes.
Act 31/1988, 31 October, establishes a series of broad measures to safeguard the high quality of the observatories of the Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands, in accordance with the recommendations of the International Astronomical Union. These measures define certain limitations with regard to outdoor lighting, the installation and operation of radio transmitters and the creation of industries and other activities which are seen as potential pollutants of the atmosphere.
The regulations herein aim to establish conditions and tolerable limitations in relation to all factors that are seen as threatening the astronomical qualities of the sky in the areas around the observatories.
By virtue of the proposal from the Ministers of Education and Science, Public Works and Transport and Industry, Commerce and Tourism in response to the Island Commission of the island of La Palma and the Government of the Canary Islands and in accordance with the Council of State and the prior deliberations of the Cabinet at a meeting on 13 March 1992,

I declare that:
Article 1:
The regulations for the enforcement of Act 31/1988, 31 October, for the protection of the Astronomical Qualities of the Observatories of the Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands, the text of which follows, are passed.
Article 2:
The Ministers of Public Works and Transport, Education and Science and Industry, Commerce and Tourism have authorization to issue all provisions deemed necessary for the enforcement and application of the regulations herein in accordance with their powers and duties.
Article 3:
This Royal Decree comes into force the day following its publication in the “Boletín Oficial del Estado” (Official State Gazette). Issued in Madrid, 13 March 1992. JUAN CARLOS REX
Ministry for the Parliament and the Government Secretariat
VIRGILIO ZAPATERO GOMEZ
REGULATIONS FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF ACT 31/1988, 31 OCTOBER, FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE ASTRONOMICAL QUALITIES OF THE OBSERVATORIES OF THE Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands
FIRST SECTION

General Provisions
Article 1:
Outdoor lighting, the installation and operation of radio transmitters and the creation of industries and other activities that are seen as potential pollutants of the atmosphere, as well as all factors that are seen as threatening the astronomical qualities of the observatories on the island of La Palma, are subject to the limitations established by Act 31/1988, 31 October, for the protection of the astronomical qualities of the observatories of the Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands (IAC) as stated in the regulations herein.
Article 2:
The rules established by the Act and the Regulations herein, with regard to new initiatives capable of adversely affecting astronomical quality, are applicable to the observatories of the IAC on the island of Tenerife, except in the case of outdoor lighting, provided that it does not affect the astronomical qualities of the observatories on the island of La Palma.
Article 3.
1: The territorial limits to the application of these protection rules is the total area of the island of La Palma.
2: The territorial limits to the application of the protection rules is the total area of the island of Tenerife, with regard to the installation and operation of radio transmitters and the creation of industries and other activities that are seen as potential pollutants of the atmosphere, and only to that part of the island of Tenerife that faces the island of La Palma with regard to outdoor lighting.
3:Without prejudice to the provisions of article 5 of Act 31/1988 within the above mentioned territorial limits the needs of National Defence must be safeguarded in accordance with Organic Law 6/1980 in which the basic criteria for National Defence and Military Organisation are enumerated.

SECTION II
FIRST CHAPTER
OUTDOOR LIGHTING
Article 4:
Outdoor lighting shall be defined for the purposes of these regulations as all types of lighting, both permanent and temporary, in the open and used at night.
In accordance with this definition, the following are considered to be cases of outdoor lighting:
Street lighting Ornamental lighting and lighting in parks Lighting for sporting facilities Lighting for recreational facilities Illuminated advertisements Security lighting Lighting of commercial window displays Outdoor lighting for private housing
Article 5:
The light produced by the combustion of natural gas and other materials, airport lighting necessary for the safe conduct of areal navigation and automobile lights are excluded from the application of these regulations.
Article 6:
In the case of all outdoor lighting the emission of light in an upward direction must be avoided and the lighting effected with bulbs that produce minimal disturbance in relation to astronomical observations.
Article 7:
In the case of all outdoor lighting the spectral distribution of light emitted by bulbs shall be such that the sum of the spectral radiance for all wave lengths of less than 440 nm is less than 15% of the total radiance. In cases where it is greater a filter shall be applied to arrive at the previously stated limit. The filter shall be submitted for inspection every two years.
Article 8:
Street lamps shall be constructed in such a way that all light is projected below the horizontal tangent at the lowest point on the lamp. The lamps must be installed without any slant.
Article 9:
In the case of street lighting the only bulbs allowed are low pressure sodium vapour bulbs. The use of high pressure bulbs shall only be authorised or licensed in certain urban areas in accordance with articles 27 and 28 of these regulations.
Article 10:
In the case of street lighting mercury vapour bulbs, mercury vapour bulbs with colour correction and metallic halide may not be used.
Article 11:
Street lighting shall have either devices to control the emission of light or double bulbs that allow the reduction of light flow by one third after midnight, without detriment to uniformity. This reduction shall not be applicable where normal light levels are lower than those established for road safety.
Article 12:
Ornamental lighting on public buildings, monuments and gardens can be achieved with any type of bulb, provided that they are extinguished from midnight onwards. Light shall always be directed downwards.
Article 13:
Lighting for sporting and recreational facilities can be achieved with any type of bulb, but these must be extinguished from midnight onwards.
This limitation may be extended on specific occasions in accordance with the terms of the permission granted.
Article 14:
1. In illuminated advertisements high tension discharge tubes with hydrogen, helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon or mercury at low levels of pressure may be used as well as fluorescent and incandescent bulbs or low pressure sodium bulbs, provided that the illuminated advertisements are extinguished from midnight onwards.
2.Projectors and lasers may not be used for the purposes of publicity or recreation or for cultural events.
Article 15:
1. In order to evaluate the effect (I) of a conurbation, with a total light flow of F installed lights, at d distance in kilometres, the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory shall apply the following empirical formula:

2. The sum of the effects I of all conurbations situated in any 45 degree sector, whose apex is the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory may not exceed the unit obtained through the corresponding factor of simultaneity.
3. For each zone on the island of La Palma the total emission from installed lighting may not exceed the limits that appear in the annex to these regulations.
CHAPTER 2
Installation and Operation of Radio Transmitters
Article 16: For the application of the Regulations herein the definitions included in the annex of Act 31/1987, 18 December, for the Orders for Telecommunications shall be used and where necessary the definitions in the Radiocommunications Regulations accompanying the International Agreement on Telecommunications.
Article 17: The following are considered to be expressly covered by the above title:
a) The installation and operation of radio communications stations.
b) The limitation of power flux density W/m2, produced above the observatories of the Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands.
Article 18: Radio communications stations with equivalent radiated isotropy power (e.r.i.p) in the direction of the observatories less than or equal to 25 watts are excluded from the application of the Regulations herein.
Article 19: In accordance with article 3, the territorial area covered by the protection rules for the installation and operation of radio communications stations shall be as follows:
a) The island of La Palma with reference to existing radio communications facilities and any facilities that may be established in future.
b) The island of Tenerife with reference to any facilities established once this Act comes into force.
c) The observatories of the Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands with reference to the limitation of power flux density which affects all types of radioelectric facilities.
Article 20:
1. The power flux density, in any part of the observatories, calculated from the e.r.i.p. in the same direction as the observatories, shall not exceed 2 x 10-6 W/m2, on each frequency equivalent to an electric field intensity of 88.8 dB (uV/m).
2. The theoretical calculation of power flux density produced by each radio communications station will be achieved taking into account the recommendations and reports of the C.C.I.R. (International Consultative Committee for Radio Communications).
3. The cumulative effect of multiple interference produced by radio communications stations will be taken into account using the quadratic sum method as defined by the C.C.I.R.
4. In cases where the theoretical calculations give a result for power flux density which is above the limit fixed by clause 1 of this article, measures of intensity of electric field may be carried out where the observatories are located with pilot signals.
5. If it is still the case that a new radio communications station produces an accumulation of power flux density above the limit established in clause 1 of this article, the General Directorate of Telecommunications shall refuse to authorise the establishment of such a station.
CHAPTER III
Atmospheric Pollution
Article 21: Industries, activities or services that may be potential atmospheric pollutants may not be set up above an altitude of 1,500 metres on the islands of Tenerife and La Palma when such entities exceed the legally established limits or the limits to be established by law at a later date.
Article 22: For the purposes of the regulations herein potential atmospheric pollutants are considered to be those industries, activities or services that may produce the emission of gas particles into the atmosphere, the following cases being exempt:
a)The movement of automobiles whose cylinder capacity is equal to or less than 2,000 cc..
b) Installations that are situated at a distance of 15 kilometres in a straight line from the observatories on the island of La Palma and at a distance of 25 kilometres in a straight line from the observatories on Tenerife. These distances must be measured on a horizontal plane.
CHAPTER IV
Flight Paths
Article 23: For the purposes of these regulations flight path interference shall be considered to be the formation of clouds as a result of the condensation of exhaust gases from planes and the emission of combustion gases that may disturb the clarity of the sky.
Article 24:
1. Occasional disturbances produced by planes involved in fire prevention and fire fighting, the transportation of injured parties, flights that are effected as the result of disaster situations or for urgent or unavoidable reasons of health are exempt from the application of the current regulations.
2. Civil Aviation radio electronic facilities that may affect the astronomical qualities of the observatories of the Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands must be subject to prior agreements with the Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands.
Article 25: Flight paths must be maintained outside 10 degrees above the horizon as seen from the observatory and at a horizontal distance of 5 kilometres from the observatory.
SECTION III
FIRST CHAPTER
Administration of the Protection Rules
Article 26: The execution of the Regulations herein will be carried out by the administrative bodies that because of the area of concern have powers and duties in relation to each case.
Article 27:
1. The Administrative body with powers and duties shall apply to the administration of the C.A.I. for the required report referred to in article 5 of Act 31/1988, 31 October.
This required report shall be dispatched within a period of thirty days. Once thirty days have passed the applications will be deemed to have been favourably received.
2. If the application does not include all necessary documentation for the required report to be dispatched, the applicant will be required to furnish such documentation. The period for the processing of the application is suspended until such documentation is furnished.
3. No required report form the IAC is required for the authorization for the installation of outdoor lighting with a potency below 20,000 lumens.
Article 28:
1. The required reports of the IAC are required in any case a priori for the putting into operation and carrying out of any of the activities included within the scope of application of the Regulations herein.
2. In the hypothetical cases designated in article 13 of these Regulations, the conditions of the required report must be included in any licence or authorization.
Article 29:
1. Plans for the installation of radio transmitters, industries or activities which are seen as potential atmospheric pollutants, within the scope of the protection rules, must include a technical study of their effects in terms of the research functions of the observatories of the IAC, with, where relevant,a statement as to proposed corrective measures to eliminate any damaging effect on the astronomical qualities of the observatories.
2. The IAC must grant permission for any field work deemed necessary in the observatories for the carrying out of the studies referred to in the preceding clause. Article 30:
1. Interested parties may present appropriately documented queries with regard to installation plans or activities affected by the limitations resulting from the protection rules to the Administration of the IAC.
2. The response to such queries will be regarded as merely informative and will not take the place of the required report when it is dispatched.
3. The required report should include the content of the query provided that all conditions remain the same as those pertaining to the response to the query.
CHAPTER II
Sanction Rules
Article 31: Acts carried out in infringement of the terms of Act 31/1988 and the current Royal Decree are subject to the penalties and sanctions included within the rules which regulate, in general terms, outdoor lighting, the installation and operation of transmitters and the establishment of industries, activities or services that may produce atmospheric pollution.
Article 32: The power to apply the list of sanctions designated by Act 31/1987, 18 December, Management of Telecommunications, shall rest with the Ministry for Public Works and Transport, without prejudice to the jurisdiction in terms of sanctions of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands in relation to indirect management of radio broadcasting transmitters which make use of FM metric waves.
Article 33: The power to apply the sanctions regulations designated by Act 38/1972, 22 December, for the protection of the atmosphere, rest with the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands within the scope of that law and the Regulations herein.
Article 34: As part of the sanctions procedure carried out as a consequence of infractions in relation to the protection rules, the Administration of the IAC must, prior to any resolution being sought, present a report in which the negative effects produced by the installation or activity concerned on the research function of the Institute are enumerated and evaluated.

CHAPTER III
Economic Provisions
Article 35:
The costs occasioned by local corporations on the island of La Palma in the course of modification of outdoor public lighting existing at the time of publication of these regulations or new installations of the same nature effected as a result of the current regulations shall be subsidised by the State.
Article 36:
Applications for the modification of existing lighting shall be presented to the Administration of the IAC accompanying the technical plan for installation and the budget. The IAC shall produce a report on the need for modification which will be sent along with the application and all other documents to the Secretary of State for Universities and Research (Ministry of Education and Science). The Secretary of State for Universities and Research, having seen the aforementioned documentation, will issue a statement granting or rejecting the application and fixing the amount of the subsidy.
Article 37:
Applications for subsidies to defray the additional costs of new installations shall be processed and decided upon in accordance with the procedures established in article 36. Along with the documentation cited in that article an itemised account of the cost of the installation must be included.
Article 38:
Applications for the modification of existing lighting shall have priority over applications for new installations of the same nature in annual budgets.

All material is copyrighted ((c)) by the IAC, or others as noted. It may be reproduced for non-commercial usage provided that credit is given to IAC

Last Updated: Lunes 9 de abril de 2001

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