Northern Virginia is one of the world’s largest data center markets. But threats to the region’s reputation as a “data center capital” abound.
While county supervisors in Virginia’s Prince William County voted in favor of more data center-friendly zoning, Fairfax County residents opposed a rezoning request for a data center build. Lawmakers are not only taking notice — they’re also taking action.
According to WTOP News, Virginia Senator Chap Petersen introduced a bill “asking the Department of Energy to study the impacts of data center development on Virginia’s environment, economy, energy resources, and ability to meet carbon-reduction goals.” Petersen also introduced another bill wherein “the siting of a data center shall only be approved in areas where the data center will have a minimal impact on historic, agricultural, and cultural resources and will not be within one mile of a national park or state park or other historically significant site.” Additionally, the bill would require a site assessment before approval to evaluate a data center’s impact on agricultural resources and its effect on carbon emissions and water usage.
In a similar move, Virginia House Delegate Danica Roem introduced two bills: one that