The Bureau of Reclamation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have approved an extension lease for the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) on the Navajo Indian Reservation, near Page in Arizona, which enables operations at the coal-fired power plant to continue through 22 December 2019. Without the extension, activities to retire the plant were required to begin in the coming year.
The Department of the Interior bureaus approved the extension lease following an environmental review which concluded earlier this week. The NGS Extension Lease Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft Findings of No Significant Impact were issued for public review and comment from 5 October – 3 November 2017. Comments were received from ten entities. Minor corrections and clarifications to the EA were made where appropriate.
Under the approved extension lease, coal combustion at NGS will cease by 22 December 2019. Retirement of the facility would then begin, to be completed by 22 December 2024. The lease provides five years for the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District to complete plant retirement and 30 years for long-term monitoring and remediation.
While the extension lease does not authorise coal combustion after 22 December 2019, efforts are continuing between the Navajo Nation and NGS stakeholders to develop agreements for post-2019 operations. These would require appropriate approvals and environmental review. Reclamation and BIA are monitoring developments to anticipate potential impacts to those who historically have received benefits from NGS operations, including Navajo and Hopi stakeholders.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/power/04122017/navajo-power-plant-coal-operations-secured-until-end-of-2019/