Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
Department of Environmental Quality
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2/27/23  10:39 am
Commenter: Kathryn Kulick, HOA Roundtable of Northern Virginia

HOA Roundtable of Northern Virginia Opposes DEQ Waiver

The HOA Roundtable of Northern Virginia, an umbrella network of 65 homeowner and civic groups, who themselves represent nearly 90,000 homes in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Fauquier counties, views the consideration of this variance for the rapidly expanding data center industry as one of the most egregious examples of the “tail wagging the dog” we have ever witnessed.   The most profitable industry ever in the history of mankind should be informed THEY will need to engineer an environmentally responsible solution to prevent their facilities from causing unreasonable power draws during peak loads and prioritize operational requirements so THEY live within the power grid means the utilities can provide.  The banks of numerous, if not hundreds, of diesel generators at a given data center campus were designed for emergencies, not peak load limitations.  They require tens of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel, just for their intended purpose, let alone non-emergency operations.  Obviously, allowing them to operate for protracted periods to supplement the grid will cause an environmental issue.  The power requirements for ever increasing needs of this industry are continually underestimated.  Yet, DEQ lobbied against any and all legislation at the recent General Assembly session, claiming the ability to effectively handle environmental issues with current authority, and this is what Virginians get … massive diesel generator operation beyond declared emergencies.  We are watching how the data center industry appears to be increasing its “authority” over us, and deliver our strong message to you, the Department of our ENVIRONMENTAL Quality that we firmly oppose this variance.  Those few who are seeking to line their pockets from the sale of land to the industry, and thoughtlessly commenting the Internet is more important than the quality of the air we all breath have no concern for the public interest.   But the concerns of so many citizens of Northern Virginia have been beautifully expressed on this comment forum, and will continue.  On those, we cannot improve.  Please do not grant this waiver.  This industry has plenty of resources to deal with the problem on their own.

CommentID: 209158