Study: Stay-At-Home Orders Result in Cleaner Air

BY TOMMY LOPEZ, KOB

ALBUQUERQUE (April 22, 2020)

As environmentalists celebrated Earth Day this year, they were greeted with good news.

New data shows air quality is improving as much of the country is forced to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The change is more obvious in the country’s largest cities, but environmental advocates in New Mexico say any progress helps. Leaders of the local non-profit, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, say it’s incredible to see the difference.

“I think it’s a really blunt reminder of the impacts that we’re having, and we need to be conscientious about that,” said Garrett VeneKlasen, the group’s Northern Conservation Director.

He says the improvements show that everyone plays a role in protecting the Earth, and he hopes progress can continue.

“We need to take care of it,” VeneKlasen said. “I think as the world grows and there’s more strain on resources, we need to even be more careful about that.”

He hopes that people will see the positive effects the so-called lockdown has had. The changes may serve as a wake-up call for people to try harder to keep our air and water clean moving forward.

He urges people to pressure lawmakers to support policies to help and reminds everyone that healthy landscapes are a part of the rich history of our state.

On Wednesday, the city of Albuquerque said the air quality was “moderate”.

This article originally appeared in KOB News, Albuquerque.

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