The new owner of two Maryland power plants say those plants will likely stop burning coal.
NRG Energy is asking for federal permission to deactivate the coal units at its facilities in Dickerson in Montgomery County and Chalk Point in Prince George's County.
The plants would continue to burn oil and natural gas.
Dave Gaier, a spokesman for New Jersey-based NRG says the deactivation request is a response to the announcement of more stringent environmental regulations in Maryland, regulations that will specifically target coal plants and the emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
Gaier says its simply too costly for NRG to invest in the technology to keep the coal plants online and in compliance with the new rules.
Environmental groups have long complained about excess air and water pollution from the plants, and are hailing the deactivation request as a victory for clean energy policies.