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 percent in 2011 in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia compared to 2010. Nationwide, total toxic air releases dropped 8 percent 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.