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The Coconino County Board of Supervisors participated in a meeting hosted by the Department of the Interior on Wednesday, April 12 in Washington, D.C. focused on the impact of the premature closure of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS).
Closure of NGS will not only impact the Navajo Nation and Coconino County but will have significant downstream impacts on Arizona’s economy. It is estimated that over 3,100 jobs will be lost when NGS is closed. In addition to these job losses, this closure will negatively affect the revenue used to support critical services to the region including law enforcement, court services as well as core public health and education services.
“Closing NGS will greatly affect schools, hospitals, libraries and public services across the region. Our special districts rely on these funds to provide services to the most vulnerable populations,” said Supervisor Lena Fowler. “We are encouraged by the participation of Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke at Wednesday’s meeting and that this issue is receiving appropriate attention in Washington. Everyone at the table understands the full impact that closing NGS will have. We are committed to making sure these impacts are understood and all partners work together to find solutions.”
“We support Navajo Nation President Begaye and the Salt River Project in their work to renew the lease agreement to keep the Station in operation through 2019” said Supervisor Jim Parks. “That will give us time to breath and design education and agricultural opportunities in order to re-direct employment options for the Navajo Nation, Hopi and all those who will be impacted by the closure.”
The Board of Supervisors remains committed to working with its partners to ensure an extension of the operation of NGS and subsequent decommissioning of the plant to allow for a measured transition of the area’s economy.