Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 12:23:24 AM MST

Navajo Council to Vote on Proposed Pipeline
by Jim Snyder, Staff writer

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. The Navajo Nation Council will hold a special session at 10 a.m. Friday in the Council chambers to discuss and vote on old business, new business and to receive a report.

Television actor Ricky Schroeder, of NYPD Blue, will address the Council at the beginning of Friday's session about a film he wants to make, said Navajo legislative spokeswoman Carolyn Calvin.

The agenda includes as old business the following:

Expressing support for the development and implementation by 2005 of an alternative use to the N-Aquifer water for the Black Mesa Pipeline. That pipeline currently uses underground water to slurry coal from the Peabody Black Mesa Coal Mine near Kayenta, Ariz., approximately 300 miles to the Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nev.

Being proposed would be a second pipeline to carry either Lake Powell or Colorado River water to the Peabody Coal Mine so that underground water would no longer be used. The new source of water would be fed into the Black Mesa Pipeline to slurry the coal.

The Mohave Generating Station receives all of its coal from the Peabody Black Mesa Coal Mine in Kayenta. The plant cannot sustain operations if there was a disruption in the Black Mesa Pipeline because of lack of water.

Congressional authorization would be needed to construct a new pipeline and to use Lake Powell or Colorado River water for Peabody Coal's operation at Black Mesa.

Approving a supplemental funding request of $1.5 million to the Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Assistance. The document is sponsored by Shiprock Council Delegate Wallace Charley, vice chairman of the Council's Education Committee.

The scholarship office is funded by the federal government with a budget of $4.2 million. "That wasn't enough money to provide scholarships for more than half of the 12,000 students who sought scholarships last year," Charley said in an October interview. "We denied 7,000 students scholarships. We ran out of funds."

The request was on the Council's Nov. 1 special session agenda but was tabled.

Amending a resolution in order to provide a supplemental appropriation of $1.1 million from the undesignated unreserved funds as a grant to the Din Power Authority. The money would be used for the development of a Navajo transmission and power generation project and other related activities, as well as for operation of the Din Power Authority for fiscal year 2003.

Approve two operating agreements with the Navajo Oil and Gas Company for the exploration and development of oil and gas in the Echo House Mesa and Canal Creek areas of San Juan County, Utah.

Express condolences to the family, relatives and friends of the late Louis Tapaha Sr., a former Red Mesa Chapter official in Arizona.

Approve the amendments for the Navajo Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Plan of Operation. No further details on this were available.

The only item on the agenda as new business is:

Expressing appreciation to Kenneth Maryboy and the Ya'at'eeh Keshmish Organization for their selection as a recipient of a National Caring Award for the Year 2002.

The Council will also receive a report from the Judiciary Oversight Committee.

A few footnotes:

Historically, the Council has had difficulty starting sessions on time because a quorum of 45 of the 88 delegates couldn't initially be reached. Also, the Council has the option to table some of Friday's agenda items to the Jan. 21-24 winter session if they run out of time.

Friday's session is the last for the current Council unless they call another special session before the winter session, in which case they could pick up any tabled items.

The new Council will take office Jan. 14. The current Council had a 58 percent turnover in the Nov. 5 general election with 51 new delegates being elected. A new Council speaker is expected to be elected by the Council during the winter session.

Jim Snyder:


Reprinted as an historical reference document under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law.