Press Release May 4, 2022

New Report Finds Proposed Data Centers in Northern Virginia Threaten National Parks, Drinking Water

These protected places are the heart of Northern Virginia. Rezoning land on their doorstep for huge, loud, environmentally damaging industrial data centers is wrong.

WASHINGTON – Today, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), in partnership with CEA Engineers, released new analysis revealing the extensive negative impacts that proposals for two data centers could have on waterways and national parks in Prince William County’s Rural Crescent.

If approved, water quality would suffer at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Prince William Forest Park and the surrounding areas. This inappropriate development would negatively impact drinking water, wildlife, and outdoor recreation, as well as increasing flood risks for the entire community.

These two national parks have enormous historic, recreational, and cultural significance, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors and contributing $54 million to the Prince William County economy each year.

New analysis from water quality experts at CEA Engineers reveals that if these two developments are built as planned, could result in more than 57,000 tons of sediment dumped into the Occoquan Reservoir – an important drinking water supply for more than 800,000 people who live and work in Northern Virginia. Another 1,350 tons would flow into Quantico Creek.

Despite concerns from The National Parks Conservation Association and partners, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors have consistently voted to advance proposals to rezone these parcels of land, just steps from national parks, for high-impact commercial development.

Statement of Kyle Hart, Mid-Atlantic Field Representative for The National Parks Conservation Association:

“These startling new findings reveal just how risky it would be to build industrial data centers a stone’s throw from Civil War battlegrounds and precious green space at two of America’s beloved national parks.

“The Occoquan watershed protects the water Virginians drink, the wildlife in our streams and backyards, and the lakes where we take our fishing poles. Manassas National Battlefield Park is hallowed ground, where some of our country’s bloodiest and darkest hours took place. Prince William Forest is the largest protected green space in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

“These protected places are the heart of Northern Virginia. Rezoning land on their doorstep for huge, loud, environmentally damaging industrial data centers is wrong. The Prince William County Board of Supervisors should reject these projects.“


About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its nearly 1.6 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit

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