Farmington — Shiprock Chapter members could vote today to oppose the waiver of liabilities issued to BHP Billion for Navajo Mine.
The proposed resolution calls for the chapter to object to the Navajo Nation Council's approval to waive all past, present and future claims, demands, damages, indebtedness, liabilities, obligations, costs, expenses and actions for BHP Billiton.
Chapter president Duane "Chili" Yazzie said chapter members decided during their Nov. 11 meeting to have the resolution placed on today's meeting agenda.
"I put the question to the people about whether or not they wanted us to consider it," Yazzie said.
The resolution was originally presented to chapter members last month, but no action was taken on it because members decided to allow Yazzie and a group of concerned community members to meet and discuss the resolution with BHP Billiton officials.
That meeting did not happen after the group was advised to bring attorneys to the meeting, which BHP Billiton officials did not agree to, Yazzie said.
Although the chapter showed concern about the waiver of liability, that did not stop BHP Billiton and the Navajo Transitional Energy Company LLC -- the tribal entity created to oversee the mine acquisition and operation -- from signing the $85 million mine purchase agreement Oct. 31.
Details about the agreement were not released because both parties signed a non-disclosure agreement. But part of the transaction would have BHP Navajo Coal Company remain the mine manager and operator until 2016.
Despite the purchase agreement being signed, the chapter membership still has serious concerns about the waiver, Yazzie said.
"We can't be silent on it. We need to say something, so that's what we're going to do," he said.
The meeting is at noon today at the Shiprock Chapter house.