Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
Department of Environmental Quality
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3/2/23  5:14 pm
Commenter: Pamela Butler

YES to Variance for Data Centers

I'm glad DEQ has the foresight to plan for emergencies and excessive strain that could shut our electric grid down. Under the variance, electrical utility companies would alert DEQ of potential shut downs, so they in turn, can alert data centers of the need for backup generators. Having the data centers temporarily off the grid will protect homeowners, businesses, schools, and emergency services from power outages.

I see from the plan that they will institute measures to ensure generators are the newer ones that incorporate state-of-the-art pollution technology. DEQ will also require extensive reporting on emissions and oversight from the utility companies.

Under the variance, it does not allow the data centers to use backup generators during the entire months of March, April, May, June, and July as some of the people against it mistakenly think. It only allows it when DEQ initiates it, and lasts only until they and the electric companies determine its safe for the data centers to come back on the electric grid.

CommentID: 209419