Positive environmental impact? What one professor is saying about the coronavirus

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — You may have seen how the coronavirus has allowed for some positive environmental impacts around the world. China and Italy, two of the more impacted countries of the coronavirus, have seen some changes, already, to some of their different environments, but is that the case here in southwest Virginia?

Roanoke College Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Dr. Laura Hartman says this is something she and her colleagues are looking at. It will take time to measure aspects like water and air quality to see if there has been any impact, but based on the lack of drivers on the road, closing of businesses, and general intuition, she expects to see some changes .

“We’re seeing these results, not real clearly locally yet, but we’re seeing results in other places, places that have had really bad air quality that suddenly have good air quality. Places that have had really polluted waters, suddenly have less polluted waters because the activity that was harming them has been shut down,” Hartman said.

Hartman said the City of Roanoke is having its air tested in order to monitor any gradual shifts in quality due to, again, a significant reduction in emissions from both drivers and businesses. Hartman hopes to have concrete evidence from these studies in the near future.

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