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NC Legislature agrees to air toxic rule changes

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A bill that exempts industrial plants from certain North Carolina pollution rules if they already comply with similar federal restrictions is heading to Gov. Beverly Perdue.

The Senate approved 38-1 on Thursday changes to scale back the state's authority over hazardous chemicals covered by both the state Air Toxics Program and a similar federal program. The House already agreed to the bill.

The Perdue administration said this spring she generally supports the changes, which were sought by groups representing manufacturing and chemical production plants and the North Carolina Chamber. Power plants, paper mills and chemical manufacturers are among those most likely to be affected.

The state environment department still would have authority to step in if a plant's pollution is found to be an unacceptable risk to human health.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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