WA state denies stop work request for Microsoft data center based on Diesel Generator emissions, construction project continues

There is an environmental group in Washington state who wanted to eliminate the use of diesel generators at Microsoft’s data center expansion in Quincy, WA.  Microsoft has approval to continue with the expansion.

The group is led by a former Quincy mayor.

The group, led by former Quincy mayor Patty Martin, asked the PCHB to halt construction at the site in northwest Quincy until MYTAPN’s appeal of a Department of Ecology permit allowing the company to install 13 new diesel generators on the site is heard in July.

I wonder if this a bunch of tree hugging environmentalist who don’t understand that prohibiting diesel backup generators excludes almost all data center construction.  And, out of 365 days a year, the diesel generators would be operating ideally less than 3 days of time.

In the stay request, MYTAPN claimed that allowing the construction project to continue until the appeal hearing could cause irreparable harm to the community’s health. The PCHB disagreed, stating in its order on Feb. 7 denying the stay, that MYTAPN “has not articulated how, in the near term, the incremental phasing in of a portion of the 13 new backup generators will present any immediate or irreparable harm before the scheduled hearing and final decision in this matter, and the appellant’s allegations of harm are not supported with scientific or other factual evidence.”

The PCHB also stated that MYTAPN did not demonstrate a sufficient likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal.

I think it is the conclusion of the board that the complaint has no merit.  There is not basis of scientific fact or credible evidence.

“A number of the appellant’s legal claims do not appear to be well-founded interpretations of applicable requirements, and others raise concerns that appear to be outside the scope of the board’s review,” the order stated. “The absence of credible scientific or factual evidence and lack of persuasive legal analysis to counter respondents’ (Microsoft and Department of Ecology) submissions make it impossible for the board to conclude that the appellant is likely to succeed on the merits of this appeal.”

The other point made is the amount of operational hours is much below the authorized capacity.

It's because stopping the work "is not necessary to prevent irreparable harm because the facility will be operating at considerably less than its authorized capacity during the course of these proceedings," according to the board order denying the request.