DENVER (AP) — Gov. John Hickenlooper says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given preliminary approval to the state’s plan for cutting air pollution that contributes to haze at national parks.

The long-awaited plan is required under federal rules aimed at improving visibility in national parks and wilderness areas.

Part of Colorado’s plan was the 2010 Clean Air Clean Jobs Act, which led to Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy developing plans to retire some of their coal-fired power plants or replace them with ones that run on natural gas.

Hickenlooper’s administration says that by 2018, the state’s plan will result in more than 70,000 tons of pollutant reductions annually.

The EPA intends to finalize its decision on Colorado’s plan by Sept. 10, after the public weighs in.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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