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Originally published Monday, June 21, 2010 at 6:03 PM

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Wash., TransAlta reach deal on mercury, haze

The Washington Department of Ecology has reached a deal to reduce mercury and smog-causing pollution at a major coal-fired power plant though environmentalists say it doesn't go far enough.

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. —

The Washington Department of Ecology has reached a deal to reduce mercury and smog-causing pollution at a major coal-fired power plant though environmentalists say it doesn't go far enough.

Ecology's agreement with TransAlta Corp. released Monday would allow the Canada-based company to control smog-causing nitrogen oxides primarily through measures already in place.

Critics had wanted more advanced pollution control technologies to improve visibility at the region's national parks and wildnerness areas.

TransAlta also agreed to voluntarily reduce mercury emissions by 50 percent at its Centralia, Wash. plant. Ecology says the company began installing mercury controls last year and must finish by 2012.

Earth Ministry's LeeAnne Beres calls the reductions for mercury "unacceptable." She says other states have required tougher reductions.

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