Department of Ecology News Release - December 10, 2015

Quincy data center needs revised air permit

QUINCY – A data center in Quincy is proposing to modify an existing air permit to better fit facility operations and growth. These changes require a revised air permit to ensure protection of human health and the environment.

Data centers house servers that store digital data, handle email, manage instant messages and run applications for computers. The Sabey Integrate Quincy data center uses cooling units to keep equipment from overheating, as well as backup generators in case of power outages.

The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking comment on the changes to Sabey’s original permit issued in 2011. That permit allowed operation of up to 44 backup generators that run on diesel.

Diesel engine exhaust contains fine particles and other gases that can cause health problems for people who are exposed frequently and at high enough levels.

The proposed changes to the permit include flexibility for potential use of smaller generators and improvements on testing procedures. It also allows a longer term for phased growth and adds clarification to certain conditions. Additional conditions to protect public health from air pollution include limits on the amount of fuel and number of hours the engines can operate.

Submit comments

Comments and questions on the draft air permit should be addressed to Kari Johnson, Department of Ecology, Air Quality Program, 4601 N. Monroe, Spokane, WA 99205.

Comments will be accepted from Dec. 10 through Jan. 10.

Review the revised permit


Brook Beeler, communications, 509-329-3478, @ecyspokane