NAO-2018-0997 (Loudoun Center, Loudoun County, Virginia)

Published Nov. 27, 2023
Expiration date: 12/26/2023

November 27, 2023    
NAO-2018-0997/ 23-V2059

The District Commander has received a joint permit application for Federal and State permits as described below:

Zebra Ventures, LLC
1212 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 1000
Washington D.C.

The Loudoun Center (Phase I and Phase II) is located north of Shellhorn Road, south of Waxpool Road, and transects Loudoun County Parkway, in Loudoun County, Virginia.

PROJECT SIZE: 133.22 acres

The project intersects with unnamed tributaries to Broad Run.  Broad Run is located within the Middle Potomac-Catoctin watershed (Hydrologic Unit Code 02070008).

LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE: 39.006808, -77.476977

The applicant proposes to construct eight (8) two-story data centers and a substation to serve the data centers in three (3) separate phases. The proposed project will result in impacts to 0.85 acre of palustrine forested wetlands (PFO) and 2,452 linear feet (0.37acre) of stream channel. Phase I impacts 1 through 7 has been completed and mitigation purchased. The Phase II impacts 8 through 12 will impact 0.14 acre of PFO and 1,034 linear feet of stream and temporarily impact 27 linear feet of stream. Phase III will be finalized in the future.

Offsite alternatives considered: land currently zoned for data centers, land available for purchase; land costs; minimized environmental impacts; and existing major utility services. The Applicant has implemented onsite design alternatives to minimize building and parking permanent impacts.  The project is bound in the northern by the future proposed construction of Loudoun County’s Prentice Drive.  Parking and roadway width have been minimized to the minimum necessary to meet local requirements for emergency services access and vehicular safety. Underground stormwater management facilities have been incorporated into the design to further minimize the limits of disturbance and overall footprint of the project.

The Applicant offers to compensate for 0.14 acre of PFO and 1,034 linear of stream by the purchase of 0.28 wetland credits and 1,344 Stream Credits from the Rock Hedge Wetland and Stream Mitigation Bank and the Tail Race Wetland and Stream Mitigation Bank.

In addition, the applicant must obtain an Individual Section 401 Water Quality Certification or waiver from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated.  

A copy of the joint permit application can be found on the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s website (hyperlink).

(  )      Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403).
(x )     Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.
(  )      Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 1413).
(  )      Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 408 (Section 408).

The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest.  The decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources.  The benefits which reasonably may be expected from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All of the proposal's relevant factors will be considered, including conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.  The Environmental Protection Agency's "Guidelines for Specification of Disposal Sites for Dredged or Fill Material" will also be applied (Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act).

The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public, federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of this proposed activity.  Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal.  To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above.  Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.  Preliminary review of the application indicates that no EIS will be required.

Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.  Anyone may request a public hearing to consider this permit application by writing to the District Commander within 30 days of the date of this notice, stating specific reasons for holding the public hearing.  The District Commander will then decide if a hearing should be held.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: After conducting the Norfolk District Endangered Species Act (ESA) Project Review Process, the Corps has made the preliminary determination that:

After conducting the Norfolk District Endangered Species Act (ESA) Project Review Process, the Corps has made the preliminary determination that:

No listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the ESA of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884), as amended, will be affected. Based on the completed May Affect, Not Likely to Adversely Affect (NLAA)” determination for the Northern Long-eared bat from the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Information and Planning and Consultation (IPaC) 4(d) determination key, no further coordination with the FWS or National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is required.

There may be a May Affect, NLAA, for the Tricolored bat, proposed as endangered, under the ESA of 1973. The IPaC Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table are attached for review and comment by the FWS.

Additional information might change any of these findings.


No known Historic Resources eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) are in or near the Corps permit area or would likely be affected by the proposal.

Additional information may change any of these findings.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-267), requires all Federal agencies to consult with the NMFS on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH).

There is no EFH in the Corps area of responsibility.

VIRGINIA’S COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended for projects located in Virginia’s Coastal Zone, the applicant must certify that federally licensed or permitted activities affecting Virginia's coastal uses or resources will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Virginia’s Coastal Zone Management Program (Virginia CZM Program), and obtain concurrence from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Office of Environmental Impact Review (OEIR). It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a consistency certification to the OEIR for concurrence or objection, and proof of concurrence must be submitted to the Corps prior to final permit issuance. A template federal consistency certification can be found in the Federal Consistency Manual here:

For more information or to obtain a list of the enforceable policies of the Virginia CZM Program, contact the DEQ-OEIR at (804) 659-1915 or e-mail:

No concurrence is required because the project is not located within Virginia’s Coastal Zone.

The Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 Certification Rule (Certification Rule, 40 CFR 121), effective September 11, 2020, requires certification, or waiver, for any license or permit that authorizes an activity that may result in a discharge. The scope of a CWA Section 401 certification is limited to ensuring that a discharge from a Federally licensed or permitted activity will comply with water quality requirements. To comply with the Virginia Section 401 Water Quality Certification Program and the Certification Rule, the applicant is responsible for adhering to the procedures outlined in the Certification Rule when requesting certification from the certifying authority, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. In accordance with Certification Rule part 121.12, the Corps will notify the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator when it has received a Department of the Army (DA) permit application and the related certification. The Administrator is responsible for determining whether the discharge may affect water quality in a neighboring jurisdiction. The DA permit may not be issued pending the conclusion of the Administrator’s determination of effects on neighboring jurisdictions.

Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to, or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN:  Regena Bronson), 10300 Spotsylvania Parkway, Suite 230, Fredericksburg, VA  22408, and should be received by the close of business on December 26, 2023.  

Comments and information, including the identity of the submitter, submitted in response to this Public Notice may be disclosed, reproduced, and distributed at the discretion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Information that is submitted in connection with this Public Notice cannot be maintained as confidential by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Submissions should not include any information that the submitter seeks to preserve as confidential.

If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, contact Ms. Regena Bronson at 540-682-9552 or email