SB 1078 (Peterson), which prohibits the location of a data center within one mile of a national park or state park, failed in the Senate Rules Committee by a vote of 13-4 last week. VACo spoke in opposition to the bill as it would encroach upon local authority to make land use decisions.
Similar pieces of legislation, all aimed at either limiting or prohibiting the siting of data centers, have failed in the House of Delegates. In regards to issues being raised about the increasing number of data centers locating in the Commonwealth, there is SJ 240 (Peterson), which directs the Virginia 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. SJ 240 passed the Senate unanimously and is headed to the House for consideration. The legislation also directs the Department to consult with a broad representation of stakeholders, including VACo.
VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP