For 3rd time, junk-food tax on way to Council

By Alastair Lee Bitsoi
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, July 31, 2014

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with the elimination of the sales tax on fresh foods taking effect in October, members of the Diné Community Advocacy Alliance are hoping its companion bill, which will impose a two-percent sales tax on junk food, will also become law.

Also known as the Healthy Diné Nation Act of 2014, it would tax "all minimal-to-no nutritional value food items" such as sweetened beverages and prepackaged and non-prepackaged snacks.

These snacks are junk food items high in fat, saturated fat and sugar, including sweetened beverages, sweets, chips and crisps, according to the latest proposal.

Once enacted, the sales tax would theoretically expire at the end of 2034 or until extended by the Navajo Nation Council.

Parties praise emission reduction plan for power plant

By Alastair Lee Bitsoi
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK – From the input and recommendations of a technical working group that includes the Navajo Nation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced an emission reduction plan for the 2,250 megawatt Navajo Generating Station in Page, Ariz.

Known as "better than BART," or Best Available Retrofit Technology, it’s an alternative to EPA’s initial plan to install selective catalytic technology that would cost power plant owners over $1 billion to install and result in a potential shutdown.

This proposal focuses on reducing emissions from one of three units at NGS. It also allows for keeping two units operable, resulting in the reduction of air pollutants, including nitrogen oxide, by one-third.

The EPA had issued an initial BART proposal for NGS in February 2013.

"I sincerely appreciate the EPA’s decision to recognize the hard work of the technical work group and to incorporate the understanding of the parties who are most impacted by this federal environmental regulatory decision," said Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly in a July 28 news release.

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