Navajo Generating Station
Navajo Generating Station Listening Sessions
The Navajo Generating Station (NGS) is a three-unit, 2,250-megawatt, coal-fired power plant located on tribal trust lands leased from the Navajo Nation near Page, Arizona. Coal for NGS comes exclusively from the Kayenta Mine located on tribal trust lands leased from the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe. The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is an NGS Participant; the Federal share of NGS power is the primary source of electricity for operation of the Central Arizona Project, a Reclamation project that delivers Colorado River water to central and southern Arizona.
In February 2017, the Non-federal NGS Participants (utility owners) expressed their intention to not operate the facility after the end of the existing 1969 Lease term on December 22, 2019 (see http://www.srpnet.com/newsroom/releases/021317.aspx ). NGS’ utility owners indicated that retirement of the NGS facilities will require two or more years, meaning that compliance with the 1969 Lease terms would require an end to coal-fired electricity generation by the end of December 2017 so retirement activities can be completed according to the 1969 Lease terms. All the NGS Participants confirmed they would be willing to operate NGS through the end of the 1969 Lease term, if all necessary agreements were reached with the Navajo Nation, to allow for retirement of NGS after the end of the 1969 Lease term. Agreement on a new lease was reached between the utility owners and the Navajo Nation, and the Navajo Nation Council approved an Extension Lease, which the Navajo Nation President signed on July 1, 2017.
The Department of the Interior (Department) has a great interest in NGS; exploring options for the long-term future of NGS operations is a Departmental priority. Toward that end, the Department facilitated three meetings with the utility owners, the operator of Kayenta Mine, and other NGS stakeholders to jointly discuss the facility’s future, and to explore options and strategies that could make post-2019 operations at NGS economically viable. These meetings were held on March 1, April 12, and May 16, 2017.
Extension of NGS operations until the end of 2019, followed by retirement, would provide additional time for investigating options for future operation of NGS. If an economically viable solution cannot be found, this extension would provide additional time for the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe to prepare for the end of power generation at NGS. The Department is also engaged in exploring manners in which to minimize negative economic impacts should the plant close at the end of 2019.
During the week of May 15, 2017, Department of Interior officials hosted four listening sessions to provide the public an opportunity to express their views on the future of the NGS. The listening sessions were conducted at the following locations and times:
Monday, May 15 – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
The Heard Museum – Monte Vista Room, 2301 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Wednesday, May 17 – 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Page Community Center, 699 South Navajo Drive, Page, AZ 86040
(Navajo translators present)
Thursday, May 18 – 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Veteran’s Memorial Center, Second Mesa, AZ 86039
(Hopi and Navajo translators present)
Friday, May 19 – 9:00 am to Noon
Nakai Hall – Navajo Nation Fairgrounds, Window Rock, AZ 86515
(Navajo translators present)
The intent of these listening sessions was to provide the interested and affected public with an opportunity to share their comments regarding the future of NGS with Department of the Interior officials.
At the beginning of each listening session, Department officials made a brief presentation regarding ongoing activities related to NGS (see below to access the Presentation).
All four sessions were well attended. There was a total of 598 people who signed in at the four sessions, including many who came to all four sessions. There were 175 individuals who spoke. Participants included those who supported the continued operation of NGS and Kayenta Mine, including employees of NGS or the mine, as well as those who supported the immediate shutdown of both the NGS and Kayenta Mine operations. Several state, local and tribal governmental representatives came and spoke. The speakers addressed many important issues including but not limited to employment, environmental protection and health concerns, and tribal cultural and religious values.
In order to allow as many people as possible to have an opportunity to speak, Department officials did not respond to comments or answer questions at the listening sessions. Each speaker was allowed three minutes for their comment. A third party facilitator conducted each listening session. Navajo and Hopi translators were also available.
The proceedings were captured by a court reporter and written English transcripts of all four sessions are available. Written comments received at each listening session are also available. Audio tapes of the listening sessions are available for the Kykotsmovi/Second Mesa and Window Rock listening sessions. A Diné word-for-word transcript also is available for the Kykotsmovi/Second Mesa and Window Rock listening sessions. Participants were invited to submit written comments at the listening sessions or electronically until June 18, 2017, at NGS@usbr.gov
These documents/files are available as follows:
- Department of the Interior Presentation (PDF - 115KB)
- Phoenix Listening Session, May 15, 2017
- 2017-05-15_Transcript of Phoenix NGS Listening Session (PDF - 201 KB)
- 2017-05-15_Lena Henley_Redacted (PDF - 1.2 MB)
- Andy Tobin Statement (PDF - 407 KB)
- Ben Nuvamsa Statement (PDF - 2.0 MB)
- Mark Finchem Statement (PDF - 1.7 MB)
- Gila River Indian Community Statement (PDF - 2.3 MB)
- Page Listening Session, May 17, 2017
- 2017-05-17_Transcript of Page NGS Listening Session (PDF - 415 KB)
- Vincent Yazzie Written Comments (PDF - 82 MB)
- Kykotsmovi/Second Mesa Listening Session, May 18, 2017
- Audio of Kykotsmovi session - Part 1 (MP3 - 88 MB)
- Audio of Kykotsmovi session - Part 2 (MP3 - 174 MB)
- Audio of Kykotsmovi session - Part 3 (MP3 - 427 KB)
- 2017-05-18_Transcript of Hopi NGS Listening Session (PDF - 383 KB)
- 2017-05-18_Kykotsmovi NGS Listening Session Dine translations (PDF - 1.8 MB)
- 2017-05-18_Arvin Fredericks Written Comments (PDF - 977 KB)
- 2017-05-18_Melvin George - Written Comments 1 (PDF - 748 KB)
- 2017-05-18_Melvin George - Written Comments 2 (PDF - 1.3 MB)
- Vincent Yazzie - Exhibits (PDF - 29 MB)
- Window Rock Listening Session, May 19, 2017
- Audio of Window Rock session - Part 1
- Audio of Window Rock session - Part 2
- 2017-05-19_Transcript of Window Rock NGS Listening Session (PDF - 404 KB)
- 2017-05-19_Window Rock NGS Listening Session Diné translations (PDF – 1.2 MB)
- 2017-05-19_Kyra Yazzie (PDF - 681 KB)
- 2017-05-19_Kyle Yazzie_Redacted (PDF - 1.7 MB)
- Comments received via email
For more information on the public listening sessions, please contact the Department of the Interior at NGS@usbr.gov.