This variance would set a dangerous precedent - that the health of the citizens of Loudoun County can be compromised when a utility fails to do its job. Let’s not bail out Dominion Energy because they failed to plan ahead and failed to build enough transmission lines.
While this variance would expire in July, if it passed, I don’t think that would be the end of it. August is a very hot month in Loudoun - with continued stress on the electric grid, would DEQ extend the variance? DEQ says that the transmission issue will not be resolved until 2025. Are we going to need similar variances in 2024 and 2025? We’ll probably have more strain on the grid by then.
Additionally, I am concerned that DEQ is making this decision with insufficient information. DEQ has not provided estimates on county-wide nor acute impacts to air quality. How can you pass this variance without quantifying the risk to public health? DEQ is relying on the data centers to calculate their own emissions - can we really expect them to act in good faith while self-reporting?
Finally, the Data Center Coalition has voiced opposition to this variance. They have come to realize that the public equating data centers with pollution is not good for their brand. If the data centers don’t want it, and the citizens of Loudoun County certainly don’t want it, then who is this variance for?
Please do not issue this variance. Thank you.