After hours of contentious debate and more than a dozen amendments, the Navajo Nation approved the lease for the 2,250 MW coal-fired Navajo Generating Station from 2019 to 2044, according to a report from the Associated Press.
The legislation, signed Tuesday by Navajo President Ben Shelly, raises the payments to the tribe from $3 million to $43 million and provides money for scholarships and an opportunity for the tribe to become partial owners of the power plant, according to the report. The amendments include a $1 million signing bonus, a requirement the plant owners control fly ash and an assurance from plant owners they will not hinder or oppose any claim the tribe would make to water from the upper Colorado River Basin.
The owners of the station must now approve the changes to the lease, according to the report.
Currently, the power plant is owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Salt River Project, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Arizona Public Co., Nevada Energy and Tucson Electric Power. The city of Los Angeles is attempting to stop use of coal-fired power, however, and reports have stated the city is in negotiations to sell its share of the plant to Salt River Project.
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