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NC mercury air emissions down in coal plants

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ALLEN REED
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A state study shows that mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants in North Carolina have gone down 70 percent in the last decade.

The NC Division of Air Quality presented the findings Thursday to the state Environmental Management Commission.

State officials attribute the decreased presence of the toxic metal to 2002 Clean Smokestack Act that forced the operators of the state's 14 coal-fired power plants to reduce their nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions by about three-fourths.

Power companies responded by installing almost $3 billion worth of scrubbers and other equipment aimed at cutting emissions.

Coal-fired power plants account for a little more than half of the state's mercury air emissions.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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