EPA Tells Nation's Dirty Power Plants to Clean Up

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is cracking down on the largest remaining source of uncontrolled toxic air pollution in the U.S. -- the nation's power plants.

The EPA announced on Wednesday long-overdue national standards to cut mercury and other toxic air pollutants from power plants, a regulation that will force the oldest and dirtiest facilities to close or clean up.

The rule comes after intense lobbying from some power producers and criticism from Republicans, who said it would threaten jobs and electric reliability.

To ease those concerns, the administration will encourage states to make available an additional year to comply with the rule. Case-by-case extensions could also be granted to address local reliability issues.

Some in the industry wanted an automatic and longer delay.