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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California’s anti-smog agency overwhelmingly approved a controversial plan that would allow companies to pollute by purchasing emission credits.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District voted 10-1 to approve trading credits, the third time they’ve voted on an issue that has sparked lawsuits in the past.

The Clean Air Act allows for the creation of a market where a company that reduces pollution can sell the credits to other facilities that produce emissions.

In 2009, a court imposed a moratorium on trading credits. The state Legislature eventually lifted the moratorium but that decision will sunset in 2012.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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