FirstEnergy Corp. will retire six coal-fired power plants in sight of high costs to meet environmental regulations.
"Some of these older, smaller units, that really haven't run all that much over that last several years, for us to invest money the retrofit them, to meet the new environmental standards, it just wasn't economically feasible to do that," Mark Durbin said, FirstEnergy spokesman.
"There's about 320 people that are going to be affected, so again, it's a very sad day for us," Durbin said.
During the summer months, the company will decide on retirement details for some of the employees impacted by the closures.
Durbin says the plants will continue to operate through September 1.
FirstEnergy conducted a year-long study to determine if the plants were salvageable . The plants closing represent close to 10 percent of the company's electricity produced over a three-year time frame.
Durbin pointed to excess of generation of energy and the cost of the investment for the final decision.
"Those were investments that just can't be justified based on the current marketplace," he said.
The Ohio Environmental Council is praising the company's plan.
"First Energy has made the right decision, and not just for its bottom line," Nolan Moser said in a press release, Clean Air Director and Staff Attorney for the Ohio Environmental Council.
Reacting to the jobs lost, Ohio Senator Rob Portman said the country needs to "get back to balancing our economic and environmental needs and do away with the regulatory overreach that has become the status quo under the Obama administration.”
“There is no reason Ohioans should have to choose between holding onto a good paying job and protecting the environment," he said.