Thank you to everyone who participated in our Creating Walkable Piedmont Communities workshop on March 31! This half-day workshop focused on giving your town or village the tools, resources, and contacts you need to implement pedestrian, streetscape, trail and traffic calming projects. It was also an opportunity to network with other local leaders interested in making their Piedmont communities more vibrant and walkable.
On March 28, 2023, The Piedmont Environmental Council hosted a local information session in Loudoun County about a variance being proposed by The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to allow Loudoun data centers to use their backup diesel generators more frequently during the coming summer.
PEC requested the air permits for all of the approximately hundred data center facilities covered under the proposed DEQ variance, including the number of commercial generators per facility. We determined that there are 4,632 commercial diesel generators in total and that these generators have a total capacity of 11.1 gigawatts of power. Our web map displays the data centers locations, as well as nearby schools, nursing homes and low income communities.
On Friday, January 27, 2023, more than seventy participants gathered together to learn more about small agricultural solar. This workshop hosted by The Piedmont Environmental Council covered the latest information on incentives offered by USDA Rural Energy for America Program for improving energy efficiency and/or installing renewable energy, information about ag net metering and small generators options with utilities, tools for analyzing return on investment and tips for finding reputable solar installers.
In 2022, The Piedmont Environmental Council was proud to partner with volunteers from UVA’s Clark Scholars program on a project to analyze the reclamation status of former gold mine sites throughout the Commonwealth. Using data pulled from the Virginia Department of Energy’s Mineral Mining online mapping interface, the student’s research enabled PEC to create a new WebMap that visually displays former mine sites “OLAC ranking,” a measure of prioritization for reclamation based on potential or assessed contamination.
This annual publication of The Piedmont Environmental Council highlights land conservation opportunities. This edition includes 2021 Piedmont land conservation totals, a feature on the Holden easement in Loudoun County and general information for those who may be interested in putting their land in easement.
Although this past year has kept us physically apart, conservation and our collaborative partnerships have continued to work throughout, producing some amazing results. This is why I’m so excited to invite you to our second virtual Quarterly Keynote on June 24 that The Piedmont Environmental Council is co-hosting with our friends at the Shenandoah National Park Trust and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Virginia Working Landscapes!