pollution levels

Significant Drop in Some Air Pollutant Levels During First Month of Pandemic: CT DEEP Analysis

NBC 5 News

An analysis from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shows a significant drop in some air pollutant levels in Connecticut during the first month of the pandemic.

The department's Bureau of Air Management said they found that monitored levels for many air pollutants dropped significantly from mid-March to mid-April of this year.

DEEP said nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and black carbon levels were all lower from March 14, 2020 to April 26, 2020 than the average monitored values for the previous three-year period.

Fine particulate matter data did not indicate a reduction and ozone levels were unchanged, officials added.

"The positive results are due to a combination of a dramatic reduction in air-polluting emissions from transportation and commercial and industrial facilities following stay-at-home policies implemented in Connecticut and regionally, as well as normal seasonal factors," officials from DEEP said in a release on Tuesday.

DEEP believes the response to the COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in the results, however, they said the temporary stay-at-home orders are not a solution to air pollution or climate change.

“The tragic disruption of coronavirus has given us a glimpse of what our future environment could look like if we invest in more clean energy and clean transportation solutions. The health of our communities and the future of our planet depends on it," said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes.

Officials suggest long-term emission reduction strategies to maintain the improvement in the air quality.

DEEP said Connecticut suffers from some of the worst air quality in the country, especially along congested transportation corridors.

According to DEEP, the data is preliminary and they plan to continue to review it.

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