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Roundup: Luminant To Close Units Over EPA Rule

Monticello is a three-unit, coal-fueled power plant located in Titus County. The plant has an operating capacity of 1,880 MW.

By BJ Austin, KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – The largest power generator in Texas says it will close two units and cut 500 jobs if a new EPA rule goes into effect early next year.

But Dallas-based Luminant filed a federal lawsuit seeking to remove Texas from the Environmental Protection Agency's new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

The company plans to file another suit to stop the rule that takes effect Jan. 1. It requires Texas and 26 other states to reduce power plant emissions.

Luminant spokesman Allan Koenig said Monday the only way the company can comply is by idling the units. He says that will reduce generating capacity by 1,300 megawatts.

The state's power grid operator says if the EPA rule takes effect, power outages could happen because Texas hasn't had time to mitigate the capacity losses.

Dallas to Corps: The Check Is Not In The Mail

Dallas does not like a "payment plan" suggested by the Corps of Engineers to recoup 15 million dollars it gave the city for levee improvements.

Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan says the 15 million was originally approved by Congress as a "credit" for future levee improvements, but the Corps sent CASH.

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Jordan: They realized that they'd made a little boo boo. The realized that the WRDA (Water Resources Development Act) language said credit, not cash. So as a result, the Corps is needing us to send them the 15 million dollars.

Jordan says the city's already spent 8 million of that.

The Trinity River Project Committee apparently has no intention of writing a check. After a closed door session Chair Vonciel Jones Hill said the city attorney has been instructed to talk to lawyers for the Corps. She says there will NOT be a vote on the payment plan September 28th. The Corps wanted the first payment by the end of the fiscal year, two days later.

Rivals plan to press Perry on Social Security

Republican presidential hopefuls plan to use a televised debate Monday to press frontrunner Rick Perry to justify his criticism of Social Security, which has dominated the contest in recent days.

Perry, the Texas governor, partly explained his remarks in an op-ed article in USA Today. In it he said his proposed changes would not affect current and soon-to-be retirees. Perry wrote that "reforms," which he did not specify, are needed to shore up the program's long-term health.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, touting an endorsement from a former rival Monday, has sharply criticized Perry for calling Social Security's funding arrangement a "Ponzi scheme" and "monstrous lie" in a California debate last week.

The government predicts that unless Social Security is modified it will be unable to fully fund benefits starting in 2037.

Romney is running second to Perry in recent polls of Republicans. The two men and six other candidates planned to face each other Monday in a two-hour debate sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party Express.

Romney won an endorsement from former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who recently dropped out of the GOP contest. People close to Perry's campaign said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would endorse the Texas governor and accompany him to Tampa.

Romney made an earlier stop Monday at Boeing Co.'s new $750 million plant in North Charleston, S.C. He criticized the Obama administration's links to organized labor, arguing that a National Labor Relations Board's complaint against the aeronautics giant is White House payback to unions.

Romney suggested that any economic stimulus package should include legislation telling the NLRB to drop its complaint against Boeing. The company is accused of retaliating against union actions in Washington state.

September Heat To Break 1980 Record

North Texas is about to break the record for the most 100 degree days in a year.

Jennifer Dunn, with the National Weather Service, says our triple digit temperatures Monday tied the old record. She says it'll be 100-plus again Tuesday, and that will break the 1980 record of 69 "100 degree days" in a single year.

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Dunn: In fact, it was the hottest summer on record for the state of Texas this year. You know, a lot of people said we've come this far, we might as well set the record. But, I know everybody, since we already got the nice weather last week, everybody's ready for it to come right back.

And Dunn says it will. She says after a couple of days of 100 degree temperatures, a cool front is expected to bring temperatures in the upper 80's to low 90's Thursday through the weekend.

Azle Boil Water Order Lifted

People who live in Azle no longer have to boil their water.

The "boil water" notice went out Saturday morning after a water main break along Ash Creek reduced pressure and created a risk of bacteria contamination.

Azle officials say the system was fixed about one o'clock Monday afternoon.

Restaurants must follow certain procedures before re-opening. They include flushing the sanitizing ice machines and beverage dispensers. The list is on the city's website.

TRE Upgrade In Richland Hills

Plans are underway for a two million dollar upgrade of the Trinity Railway Express station in Richland Hills.

The Mayor, city council members and officials from the "T" broke ground on the project yesterday.

Joan Hunter, with the T, says the Richland Hills station is the third busiest in Tarrant County, behind CentrePort and downtown Fort Worth.

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Hunter: It will improve street and pedestrian access to the TRE station. It will expand the parking by 100 spaces; enhance traffic flow around the station; and encourage development adjacent to the station.

Hunter says the parking lot will be expanded first. The TRE carries about eight thousand commuters daily.

Kids in fire-ravaged Texas town return to school

It's understandable if students going back to school in one Texas community are having a hard time paying attention in class.

Wind-driven wildfires have destroyed more than 1,500 homes in the Bastrop area about 25 miles east of Austin. The fire is only 60 percent contained after more than a week, and many residents remain under an evacuation order.

School buses stopped Monday at hotels and motels where some students and their families have been staying.

But school district spokesman Donald Williams says almost all the students showed up for the first day of classes.

The district provided breakfast and lunch for all since many families don't have access to kitchens to pack lunches or make meals.

Bush Presidential Center seeks 9/11 memories

The George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas is asking for 9/11 stories.

The center invited visitors to share a captioned photo, an essay of 250 words or less or a video with inspirational narratives. A center spokeswoman said Monday afternoon that more than 1,300 recollections have been submitted since the call went out Saturday.

Bush, in a statement marking the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, says the collection of memories shared online will be a permanent part of his center. The information will be integrated into what the site calls the "online museum experience."

Bush was president when the terrorist attacks happened on Sept. 11, 2001. He and his wife, Laura, both took part in weekend commemorative events of the tragedy.