County anticipates effects of potential Luminant layoffs -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

County anticipates effects of potential Luminant layoffs

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TITUS COUNTY, TX (KLTV)- Word that Luminant, one of the largest power plants in Texas, may be forced to downsize has the East Texans working at those local plants and mines on edge--  hoping they're not headed for the unemployment line.

Titus County officials said they're concerned for those citizens and the county as a whole.

"Talking about Titus County in specific, loss of tax base, higher taxes, loss of jobs and more homes on the market for sale because folks are having to move out of town to look for jobs elsewhere," said Titus County Judge Brian Lee.

Those are just some his concerns in lieu of Luminant's announcement.

Monday the power provider said nearly 500 jobs would be lost if the EPA follows through with applying a new regulation to Texas.

"The EPA basically changed its modeling and is requiring the state of Texas to make significant changes in a completely unrealistic time frame," Ashley Barrie, a Luminant spokesperson, said.

Luminant said these new regulations are leaving the company with no other choice but to shut down some East Texas operations. But, Luminant representatives said they're not letting this happen without a fight.

"We filed this suit to fight for these jobs. We felt the prudent thing to do and the right thing to do for our employees is to give them a heads up that if we are unsuccessful in this fight, which we are fighting, then this is what we are going to have to do," Barrie said.

"We're hoping that the EPA will reconsider the time line that is being required. I believe that Luminant is willing to comply with a reduction in emissions," said Judge Lee. "That will be good for everybody. It just needs to be done in a more reasonable amount of time," he said.

As Luminant employees left work Tuesday they chose not to talk on camera.
They said the news is weighing on them heavily as they wait to see if the EPA's January deadline will become their deadline, too.

The EPA released a statement Monday in response to Luminant's announcement. They said Luminant "rushed to a decision that needlessly puts their workers' jobs at risk."

EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy said the EPA is willing to work with Luminant to find ways to save these jobs.

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