Long-running coal plant on Navajo Nation stops production

New Mexico

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – A coal-fired power plant in the Navajo Nation has shut down after operating for nearly 50 years.

The Navajo Generating Station near the northern Arizona community of Page stopped producing electricity on Monday.

The 2,250-megwatt plant was one of the largest in the U.S. West and a longstanding target of environmentalists.

They argued it polluted the air and contributed to health problems in nearby communities.

The plant’s owners in 2017 decided to shutter it in favor of cheaper power produced by natural gas. The closure had been expected by year’s end, but the exact day wasn’t certain as the plant depleted a coal stockpile.

The plant employed mostly Native American workers who were offered transfers to other sites in Phoenix.

The coal mine that feeds the plant also closed.

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