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Navajo lawmakers OK lease for coal power plant

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation Council’s approval
of a lease extension for a coal-fired power plant on the reservation came after
hours of contentious debate and a slew of amendments.

Now, the owners of the Navajo Generating Station must decide whether they can
agree to the changes.

The legislation extends the lease to 2044 and boosts yearly payments to the
tribe from $3 million to $43 million. It also provides money for scholarships
and gives the Navajo Nation a shot at partial ownership of the power plant near
Page.

Lawmakers on Monday tacked on amendments to control fly ash, protect claims to
water and name the federal government as a lessee.

A spokesman for the plant operator said Tuesday that the owners would be
reviewing the changes.

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