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In this photo taken Nov. 18, 2011, steam and effluent is dispersed through the top of one of the smokestacks at the city of Springfield's coal-fired power station complex in Sangamon County, Illinois. Most Illinois utilities won’t miss a beat under new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules requiring coal-fired power plants to control mercury emissions for the first time. In fact, the state already is way ahead.

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EPA tells nation’s dirty power plants to clean up

Clean up or shut down. That’s the decision facing hundreds of the nation’s oldest and dirtiest power plants under an Environmental Protection Agency rule announced Wednesday that will force plants to control mercury and other toxic pollutants for the first time.

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