Program Template photo identifier

Air Quality Program

Data Centers and Air Quality

Dell Data Center

Data centers, also called server farms, house the servers that manage email and instant messages, store data, and run computer applications. Grant County has become a popular location for data centers because of its dependable and economical electric supply. The region has a 99.9 percent annual power reliability rate which is crucial to technology systems management and appealing to data center businesses.

Each data center is equipped with multiple diesel-powered backup generators. Because diesel exhaust is a toxic air pollutant (containing nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, organic compounds, and other small particles), Ecology must review air permits before construction. The required air permit is called a Notice of Construction permit. The application must:

  • list all air emissions from the project,
  • identify the applicable federal air regulations,
  • describe their emission control technology,
  • confirm that air emissions will still meet air quality standards.

If emissions exceed air quality standards, a health impact assessment must also be conducted to ensure there is minimal public health risk.

A sales tax exemption incentive is available to owners and tenants of eligible data centers (at least 100,000 square feet) in rural counties. The data center must have a building permit to construct, remodel, or expand the center issued between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2025.

For more information, read the Department of Revenue's Tax Incentives Overview fact sheet.

Public comment on data center permits

We are currently accepting public comment on Microsoft's request to revise the existing air permit for its MWH (formerly Oxford Data Center) data center in Grant County. The updated permit would add 8 new reserve (backups to the backup) generators. Comments are being accepted October 6, 2016 — November 4, 2016. Send your comments to Kari Johnson or to 4601 North Monroe Street, Spokane, WA 99205.

To learn more about this project, read these documents:

Documents for public review and comment:

General information about air quality and data centers

Data center sites in Quincy

The most recent documents about data center projects in Quincy are provided below.

Dell Data Center

Microsoft Columbia Data Center

Microsoft MWH (formerly Oxford Data Center)

Public Comment Period:   October 6, 2016 - November 4, 2016
Send written comments about the preliminary determination (9/22/16) to Kari Johnson or
4601 North Monroe Street, Spokane, WA 99205

      Previous Oxford Data Center Permit Documents:

      Original Oxford Data Center Permit Documents:

Sabey Intergate-Quincy Data Center

Revised Sabey Intergate Data Center

      Original Sabey Intergate Data Center Permit Documents

Vantage Data Center

Yahoo! Data Center

Revised Yahoo! Permit Documents

      Original Yahoo! Permit Documents

For more information, contact Jolaine Johnson.

Para asistencia en español: Chase Davis (509) 329-3506.

Contact us


Find out about data centers in other areas of Washington