Actor Robert Duvall was one of more than 100 speakers on a northern Virginia town council against Amazon’s proposed $550 million data center.
The town of Warrenton voted early Wednesday morning, 4-3, to approve Amazon’s special use permit despite Duvall’s objections.
The 92-year-old “Godfather” and “Great Santini” actor lives on a farm in Fauquier County that surrounds town.
“We must all work together to protect the character of this town.” duvall said“The majority of town and county residents agree that this is an abuse of the site.”
He received a standing ovation from attendees at a conference at Fauquier High School at the end of his remarks.
The Northern Virginia region outside the US capital is home to the world’s largest concentration of data centers, housing the computer servers and hardware needed to support modern Internet use. As the data center expanded, community opposition increased, Also, neighbors have expressed concerns about the noise coming from the fans needed to cool the machine.
Others have expressed concern about the need for power in data centers and the requirement to build high voltage power lines to support them.
Data centers also contribute to local government revenues, and last month Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin said Amazon Web Services announces plans to invest $35 billion In new data centers statewide.
In Warrenton, Amazon expects the data center to employ about 50 people. Proponents said the data center would generate about $900,000 in tax revenue for the town annually.
The town-approved permit includes noise restrictions and prohibits the construction of substations on the site. Distribution lines from off-site substations that serve data centers must be constructed underground in accordance with permits.
The Warrenton Council meeting began on Tuesday evening and ended shortly after midnight on Wednesday early morning.