EPA: Mid-Atlantic air pollution down in 2011 - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

EPA: Mid-Atlantic air pollution down in 2011

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says releases of toxic air pollutants were down in 2011 in the Mid-Atlantic.

And the federal agency says cleaner power plants are part of the reason.

The EPA says releases were down 13.8% in 2011 in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia compared to 2010. Nationwide, total toxic air releases dropped 8% from 2010.

The EPA says reasons for the drop include the installation of air pollution control technologies at coal-fired power plants and a shift to other fuels.

Electricity producers have been switching from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas, which has dropped in price as a result of advances in drilling techniques for gas in shale formations.