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Somerset coal-burning power plant files shutdown notice; layoffs begin May 29

The Somerset Operating Co. coal-fired power plant on Lake Ontario, slated for closure because of state restrictions on the use of coal, will lay off its 67 remaining employees in late May and early June.

A plant closure notice filed Thursday with the State Labor Department said the layoffs will begin May 29 and continue for two weeks. Those losing jobs include 52 active and 15 inactive workers, all members of Local 10 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Somerset Operating, controlled by Beowulf Energy, filed a deactivation notice for the plant in November.

The company has sought state assistance in constructing a $550 million data center on the 1,800-acre property on Lake Road. The Town of Somerset has plans for a town park centered on a pair of 250-foot-high coal ash landfills on the lakefront property.

As the reason for the layoffs, the closure notice said, "Economic and stricter new State air emission regulations designed to eliminate coal generation in New York."

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