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‘Tó iiná’, Bodaway-Gap Chapter passes resolution opposing pumped storage project targeting Dziłyíjiin


Residents and land users on Monday spoke out on the pumped storage project targeting Black Mesa.

Environmental activists say the Black Mesa Pumped Storage Project would worsen problems caused by decades of coal extraction.

The project would stretch across the northeastern edge of Black Mesa, circulating water from the top of the mesa to the bottom, generating electricity but at the cost of the environment and its residents.

Percy Deal, a Black Mesa community liaison, addressed the Bodaway-Gap Chapter officials and community members with a map of where the project would occur.

Deal explained the project’s details, such as where it would run, how big it is, and the pros and cons.

“This is how much electricity he (People and Nature First Arizona) wants to produce,” Deal said, “12,240 watts to power the city of Phoenix, Tucson, and all these other communities down there. It’s going to be for 100 years.”

Looking around the room, Deal pointed to everyone, including a young elementary school girl, and said no one in the room would be alive to see the end of the project.

Deal continued to say the length of the storage pumped water will be about 20 miles long and a mile in width. Because of that, clearing the land in the areas of stored water would destroy homes.

“I bet you, right here, Chilchinbeto,” Deal said. “Here’s Rough Rock and here, Many Farms, I bet you, there’s nothing––not a proposal to help those people relocate elsewhere. There’s nothing there for relocating those people.”

Read the full story in the May 25 edition of the Navajo Times.

About The Author

Kianna Joe

Kianna Joe is Bit’ahnii and born for Kinyaa’áanii. She was born in Gallup. She received first place for best editorial in the student division for the 2022 National Media Awards. She is now an intern for the Navajo Times, covering matters in the Phoenix Valley while attending school at Arizona State University.


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