Citizen Groups Call On State, County To Rigorously Enforce Environmental Regulations When It Comes to Quantum Loophole

They say there have been a number of violations at the site over the past few months.

Steve Black, President, Sugarloaf Alliance (Photo from Sugarloaf Alliance Website)

Frederick, Md (KM) There’s a call out among several citizen groups to do something about the environmental violations occurring at the Quantum Loophole site in Buckeystown. These organizations have  sent  a letter to the governor, several local elected officials and government agencies asking them to address this problem.

One of the citizens groups is the Sugarloaf Alliance. Steve Black is the President. “Over the course of last summer and now again just in April, they’ve had a string of environmental problems and environmental violations associated with that drilling project,” he says.

Quantum Loophole is building a data center at the former Eastalco site.

Black is referring to a contractor, NPL Construction,, which  was drilling at the site to install fiber optic infrastructure to connect Quantum Loophole to data centers in Northern Virginia. The County issued a stop work order to the contractor in April   after it was learned the company was using bentonite, a clay material commonly used for drilling, when it was released. Inspectors were trying to determine if the material contaminated possible groundwater or a nearby tributary of the Monocacy River.

Black was asked if it’s been determined if the bentonite had entered the Monocacy and Potomac Rivers. “I don’t if it’s gotten there yet, but it is in the stream beds. As soon as we have a heavy rain storm, all of that material will be flushed into the Potomac and the Monocacy,,” he says.

In addition to contaminating the drinking water, Black says it could be hard the aquatic wildlife in those waterways.

“It appears that the enforcement efforts of the government–both in Frederick and the State of Maryland–have been insufficient to stop this string of environmental problems,” Black says.

He says the state and the county should rigorously enforce the environmental regulations against Quantum Loophole just they do on other industries. “Every industry in Maryland is subject to some set of environmental regulations,” says Black. “And those environmental regulations should be applied uniformly and vigorously by the regulators.  And Quantum Loophole, the data center industry, should be no different.”

Maryland officials have been encouraging data centers to move into the state, and Black says these organizations have no objections to these types of businesses. “We should have regulations in place pro-actively to allow this new industry to come to Maryland and flourish without bringing all of the same predictable problems from earlier development in other jurisdictions,” he says.

Black says the response so far to the letter is that it has been referred to the enforcement staff at the Maryland Department of the Environment.

By Kevin McManus