Jeanine Lawson – Public Input on DEQ Proposal

PWC Residents -The data centers in Northern Virginia consume enormous amounts of electricity. Recently, Dominion Energy has indicated that they will not be able to guarantee their ability to transmit the required power to sustain the electrical grid between now and 2025. Data centers use diesel generators as backups when there is power loss; however, due to Virginia air quality regulations, the generators may only be used on limited emergency basis. Data centers would like to be able to use the generators more frequently to deal with rolling brownouts until the grid issue is solved (for more details, see article by Virginia Mercury: Va. regulators propose easing emission limits for data centers over power transmission concerns).The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulates air quality and has become involved with the request to expand generator usage.  They are considering a temporary variance to allow data center diesel generators to run continuously whenever the transmission system is strained in Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William during the months of March through July 2023.While there are environmental, health and noise concerns, I am also apprehensive about granting this variance, which disproportionately affects Prince William County residents, without effective mitigation measures and proper notification for residents who would be impacted by any variance.The DEQ is soliciting comments on this proposal until March 14th (see comments below for submission guidelines). I highly encourage all of you to email the DEQ and give feedback. I also encourage residents to attend their public hearing this Monday, February 27th at 11am and give your comments in person.
Public Hearing Information:Event: DEQ Public HearingWhen: Monday, February 27, 2023Time: 11:00amWhere: DEQ Northern Regional Office, Conference Room, 13901 Crown Court, Woodbridge, VAHow To Comment: DEQ accepts all written comments by email, fax, or postal mailComment Period: January 26 to March 14, 2023All Comments Must Include: Full Name, Address, Phone NumberPoint of Contact:Karen G. SabasteanskiOffice of Air Data Analysis and PlanningDepartment of Environmental QualityPO Box 1105Richmond, VA 23218Phone: 804-659-1973Fax: 804-698-4510Email: