Natural gas has been devaluing for a long time now. As a consequence, many businesses within the coal-fired industry are suffering greatly in these times. One of the greatest impacts will be experienced by the Navajo Generating Station. After many struggles, the owners of the power plant decided to shut it down in two years time. Thus, the utilities that own this facility will have their leases expired in 2019, and they are not going to renew them.
There is still much to do until the deadline of 2019 is reached. First of all, the owners of the Navajo Generating Station in north-central Arizona have to collaborate with Navajo Nation. This is the owner of the land the facility was built on. They are the only ones that have the authority to decommission the plant. If the negotiations don’t conclude with the laying up of the power plant right after the leases expire, then the utility owners will have to close it by the end of this year. Afterward, they are going to need three years to tear down the plant completely and leave the land.
On one hand, the environmental activists are content with the news. Navajo Generating Station was one of the biggest sources of air pollution in the United States of America. The coal burning industry is responsible for releasing tons of waste products each year such as gasses from uranium, mercury, arsenic, fly ash, bottom ash, and other pollutants.
On the other hand, the end of the Navajo Generating Station means the termination of thousands of jobs. The power plant has 430 workers who are in danger of losing their jobs. Moreover, this event will affect the Peabody’s Kayenta Mine that is 80 miles away from Najavo. The coal mine relies on this power plant to sell off its products. If the utility closes, the mine will lose its most important market which can lead to a complete shutdown. This way, another community of 325 employees is going to lose their jobs.
The decision was voted on Monday within one of the owners’ meetings. Not all parts wanted the closure of the power plant, including The Bureau of Reclamation. These parties will continue to search for options that allow Navajo to remain operational beyond the deadline of 2019.
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