Pr. Wm. delegate’s bill to stop data center construction near parks fails

Delegate Josh Thomas (D-21, Prince William County) [Photo: Thomas’ Facebook page]
A bill introduced by Delegate Joshua Thomas (D-21, Prince William County), aimed at restricting the construction of data centers near state and national parks in Virginia, hit a roadblock in the House of Delegates subcommittee on Thursday. Despite Thomas’s plea to advance the bill, it was ultimately tabled, leaving supporters disappointed and frustrated, reports The Center Square.

“My district is hurting. This issue has torn apart our community,” Thomas lamented before the committee’s vote.

Kathy Kulick of the HOA Roundtable highlighted the contentious nature of the issue and emphasized the potential conflict between economic interests and environmental concerns. Kulick pointed out the influence and intimidation of the data center industry on localities, highlighting the need for state-level legislation to guide land use change requests.

“Localities are being overwhelmed by the enormous financial influence and intimidation of the industry,” Kulick told Potomac Local.

Chap Petersen, representing residents in a lawsuit against the Prince William Board of County Supervisors over the PW Digital Gateway development, echoed concerns about the data center industry’s overwhelming impact on rural areas. Petersen criticized the General Assembly’s inaction, emphasizing the environmental cost and the need for immediate legislative measures.

“The data center industry is overwhelming the Rural Crescent in Virginia. The environmental cost will be incalculable,” said the lawyer and former Democratic State Senator from Fairfax. “The General Assembly has done nothing for years. To defer the issue for ‘more study’ is a joke.”

The ongoing legal battle over the PW Digital Gateway development, approved by Prince William supervisors in December 2023,  underscores the high stakes. Residents, supported by organizations like the American Battlefield Trust, argue that approving massive data centers near historical sites like the Manassas Battlefield National Park would irreversibly alter the region’s character and damage its historical significance, reports. 

The rezoning vote in December cleared the way for two companies, QTS and Compass Datacenters, Inc., to build the nearly 100-foot tall data center buildings on what has been billed as the world’s most significant data center complex, on nearly 900 acres next to the battlefield, a tourist magnet, and the site of the first major Civil War battle in 1861.

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FREE Leadership Sessions will be conducted at the George Mason University –Arlington Campus for High School Latinas. The program runs from Monday 7/15 through Friday 7/19 from 10:00AM to 3:00PM EST each day (1-week).

Las sesiones de liderazgo GRATUITAS se llevarán a cabo en el campus de George Mason University – Arlington para latinas de secundaria. El programa se desarrollará desde el lunes 15 de julio hasta el viernes 19 de julio, de 10:00 a.m. a 3:00 p.m. EST cada día (1 semana).

Our goal is to equip students with the fundamentals of self-promotion and guide them in shaping their personal brand for future success. What sets this program apart is its integration of self-awareness activities and mentorship by seasoned professionals.

Sessions begin with a thorough assessment of leadership dynamics on July 15th, participants delve into the intricacies of personal branding and etiquette on July 16th, followed by practical guidance on crafting compelling LinkedIn profiles and resumes on July 17th. July 18th emphasizes the art of storytelling through personal statements, while July 19th culminates in portfolio presentations, allowing participants to showcase their newfound skills. The program concludes on July 20th with a memorable graduation ceremony, celebrating the accomplishments of the ELITE Academy’s graduates and their journey towards leadership excellence.

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We are honored to have the Honorable Andrea O. Bailey of the Potomac District, along with the esteemed leadership of Prince William County, hosting our 4th Annual 5K Walk for Mental Health Awareness. This event is a testament to their commitment to educate, advocate for, and dispel myths and stigma surrounding mental illness.

Dust off your running or walking shoes, bring your pets, and move with us in this county-wide FREE event in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month on Saturday, May 18th, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. This year’s theme is Movement: Moving for Your Mental Health.

We will walk along a scenic multi-purpose trail in a wooded setting with sufficient signage to meet the needs of the walkers at Locust Shade Park, 4701 Locust Shade Drive, Triangle, Virginia 22192.

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