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Navajo lawmakers don't vote on plant lease renewal

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. Navajos lawmakers didn't vote on a lease extension for a coal-fired power plant on the reservation.

No vote was taken Thursday evening because the Navajo negotiating team wasn't recognized under tribal law.

The proposed agreement is for a 25-year lease for the Navajo Generating Station in Page that will expire in 2044. The agreement would increase annual payments to the tribe from $3 million to more than $40 million a year.

The current lease set to expire in 2019 allows for an extension without the Navajo Nation approval. But plant operator, the Salt River Project, says it wants the tribe's support before asking the U.S. Department of the Interior to sign off on it.

The plant powers a series of canals that deliver water to Arizona's major metropolitan areas.

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