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President Begaye Signs Agreement

President Begaye Signs Agreement
October 10
13:16 2018

This is not another pulp fiction story. Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye has a plan to bring hundreds of new jobs to the reservation. Begaye has signed a Memorandum of Agreement to develop an environmental complex consisting of a paper pulp mill on the Navajo Nation. The MOA, between the Navajo Division of Economic Development and Presidio Environmental Southwest, was signed September 29. “By signing this MOA, we’re taking steps to address recycling on a national and global scale while also boosting our economy with an anticipated 200 to 400 jobs within the recycling plant,” Begaye said.

The Navajo Nation will begin a study to determine the best location for the paper mill. The study is set to conclude on December 31 and considers factors like access to the railway, roads, water and energy sources. It is also inclusive of an analysis of the market for feed stock and pulp materials. “Once a location is determined, this project stands to create revenue through leases, taxes and fees,” Begaye said. The paper pulp mill offers potential to support secondary markets for business development and housing.

An increase in paper recycling is driving the demand for pulp and paper products both nationally and globally. In 2016, approximately 69 percent of paper products in the United States were made from recycled paper. The increase in demand drives the recycled paper market. “This study is part of a bigger picture in addressing waste on the Navajo Nation,” Begaye said. Separate from the paper mill project, the Navajo Nation is also looking at developing 16 waste collection sites that will help feed the paper resources needed to produce pulp Begaye added. “I don’t see that finding a location for the mill will be a problem,” the president said.

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