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Environmental and community advocates set April 28 town hall on data centers, Bi-County Parkway

Environmental and community advocates are hosting a town hall this Thursday, April 28, at Battlefield High School in Haymarket at 6:30 p.m., on several upcoming, controversial land-use issues that they say threaten the regional water supply and National historical heritage, according to Elena Schlossberg of The Coalition to Protect Prince William County.

Scheduled to speak are: Kim Hosen, Executive Director Prince William Conservation Alliance;  Elizabeth Ward, Groundwater Expert; Deshundra Jefferson, Montclair resident and community activist;  Bob Weir, Haymarket Town Council; Bill Wright, retired Navy and Homeland Security;  Vida Carroll, dedicated mom and community member; and Frank Washington, Coalition to Save Historic Thoroughfare. 
The town hall is being held, Schlossberg said, because Prince William Board of County Supervisors is examining  a proposed PW Digital Gateway,  a landowner-driven Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA) that would bring data centers to the regional drinking water supply watershed, along with several other highly-charged land use decisions. If approved, that CPA would re-plan the area, they say, to allow data center  uses  on up to 2,133 acres of land adjacent to the historic Manassas National Battlefield Park. 

Fairfax County Water Authority has warned Prince William officials that “substantial changes in land use patterns in areas of Prince William County will impact water quality in the watershed and Reservoir.” 

According to the meeting’s news release, “Prince William County encompasses 40 percent of the Occoquan Reservoir Watershed, much of which is in the rural crescent, and provides clean drinking water for nearly 8 million people who live and work in Northern Virginia and, in an emergency, can supply the whole demand. Over half Prince William’s total county population, located generally in the eastern portion of the county, depend on the Occoquan Reservoir for about 17 million gallons of clean drinking water each day.” 

The town hall will also cover the Bi-County parkway (outer beltway) and the additional potential loss of more than 5,000 acres of rural crescent land to residential sprawl and even more industrial development in Nokesville.

The Coalition to Protect Prince William County is a grassroots movement originally formed in 2014 in response to Dominion Power’s proposal to erect 100-plus-foot-tall transmission towers and a new substation for a single customer — Amazon – that wanted to establish a data center campus in Haymarket. The Coalition is a registered 501(c)(4) corporation.  We are a group of volunteers; there are no paid directors.  Because the Coalition is tax-exempt, all donated funds are dedicated to expenses, said Schlossberg.

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