Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
Department of Environmental Quality
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3/7/23  10:24 am
Commenter: David Dickhaut

Air Pollution knows no boundaries - Limiting variance to eastern Loudon County is senseless

Please pay attention to the CNBC report on PJM's power problem in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Utility plant retirements are based on many factors including cost of environmental controls.  Large fossil fuel fired units have installed hundreds of millions of dollars of controls to protect the environment.  Significant reductions in pollutants from these sources have been made.  Backup diesel generators are notoriously dirty since environmental controls are minimal to none.  

DEQ needs to be looking at all pollution sources, not just the data center industry.  Giving data center operators a variance is setting the precedence for other commercial/industrial users to seek relief from air pollution requirements when, not if, PJM cannot supply sufficient electrical power. 

Per the CNBC report renewable energy development by itself cannot keep up with the huge power requirements of the proposed data centers.  So within seven years we will be trading generation with controls for generation with little to no controls. The real albeit difficult solution is to place limits on data center construction/operation until PJM can catch up with the required power generation.   

Please say NO to this variance.

CommentID: 209798