NAVAJO MINE, N.M. – Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC) donated more than 8,300 tons of coal to Navajo and Hopi families through its Community Heating Resource Program (CHRP) this winter. The CHRP program was established by NTEC to significantly expand the delivery of free coal from the Navajo Mine to all Navajo chapters and their members. Through CHRP, coal was donated to heat homes in 109 Navajo chapters and several Hopi communities this winter season.
The CHRP program was originally scheduled to end on March 11, but with COVID-19 now seriously affecting Navajo communities, NTEC has stepped up to aid in the relief effort. NTEC is continuing to deliver free coal to those chapters most at risk. On Friday, March 20, 20 tons of coal was delivered to Chilchinbito Chapter. And, last week the company made an emergency delivery of 68 tons of coal to Apache County in Arizona to distribute among 15 chapters. NTEC has delivered a total of 180 tons of coal to support communities impacted by COVID-19.
NTEC CEO, Clark Moseley said, “We hope by delivering coal to these communities it will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by keeping families from venturing out to find heating sources.” NTEC has implemented additional measures to ensure more coal is available if required by the Nation.
The Navajo Mine has been distributing free coal to the neighboring Navajo community since the 1980’s. In 2016, NTEC assumed management of the program and continued to provide free coal to the chapters surrounding the Navajo Mine.
With the closure of Kayenta Mine in northern Arizona last year, NTEC recognized the critical need to ramp-up the availability of coal for Navajo and Hopi families across the entire Nation. Thus, CHRP was created to meet this expanded need. The CHRP was designed with flexibility in mind to meet the needs of the different communities with a variety of distribution methods including individual allotments and bulk chapter pick-ups. During this winter season, a pilot delivery program was also initiated by Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon to dramatically expand bulk coal deliveries to chapters at no cost to the chapters. NTEC provided the coal for these deliveries as well.
“We appreciate the creativity and initiative of our community relations team – they identified a problem and produced a solution that benefitted many people, and may have saved lives this winter,” Moseley said.
With the creation of CHRP and expansion to the entire Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe, NTEC donated 8,368 tons of coal this winter, a 69.6 percent increase over last season, which includes donations for COVID-19 relief efforts. NTEC covered all of the costs of the CHRP including, coal, labor, and delivery totaling more than $870,000.
The Navajo Mine is operated by North American Coal’s Bisti Fuels and the CHRP is operated cooperatively by Bisti and NTEC.