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EPA orders Utah to cut haze across national parks

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

An aerial view of sandstone formations May 2, in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.

AP reports -- SALT LAKE CITY -- A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency order will require two of Utah's oldest coal-fired power plants to improve control of pollution that has drastically reduced visibility across a region that includes five national parks and redrock wilderness.

Pollution controls at a pair of PacifiCorp power plants in Emery County "do not comply with our regulations," EPA Regional Administrator James Martin wrote earlier this week in the 79-page order. He signed out the 34- and 42-year-old plants for improvement, rejecting Utah's less stringent pollution controls but upholding broader efforts by the state to reduce haze across southern Utah.

PacifiCorp said it was already upgrading pollution controls at the Hunter and Huntington power plants and planned more improvements by 2014 that would bring them into compliance with the new requirements.

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Ethan Miller / Getty Images

An aerial view of sandstone formations May 2, in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.

Nearly 400 national parks can be found all across America, and feature breathtaking vistas, rock formations millions of years old, and more.