A government planning regulator in Ireland has asked Apple to provide more detail about its data center
plans, a report claims. According to leaked documents, An Bord Pleanála has delayed the decision it was going to make this month over a planning decision appeal in favor of one that will take place in May, with a letter from the regulator sent to Arup Consulting Engineers, the team working on the project on behalf of Apple, requesting extra information.
According to Business Insider
, there are five areas that Apple must tell the planning agency about, concerning its County Galway facility. The company and Alrup must provide the requested information by March 7, otherwise they risk the An Bord Pleanála dismissing the case entirely, severely hampering construction efforts.
Concerning the location, the board wants to know why Apple decided to build the data center in a forest near Athenry, a small town in Ireland. The agency notes "The proposed development is located in an un serviced rural area on lands outside of any settlement and which are not the subject of any specific development objective." Specifically, the agency wants to know about alternative sites examined by Apple, why this site is selected for the data center, and the justification for the site's size.
An intention by Apple to use 100 percent renewable energy
at the site is questioned, as "no site or project specific information regarding renewable energy projects is provided and details of how they might be connected to the proposed development is required." Still on the subject of conservation, the agency wants the results of ecological surveys regarding protected species
, including results specifically about bats in the area.
An update to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is also requested, with the primary request being to clarify the document to provide a "logical and clear overview of the potential future impacts arising from the overall development." The inconsistent format of the document is brought up over the environmental impact descriptions for building the data halls, as only the first is covered despite Apple ultimately planning to construct eight. The EIS also needs to address the impact the data center will have "in the absence of viable direct sustainable energy sources."
The fifth area relates to the geology of the site, with requests for "the depth of the bedrock, depth to the water table, soil/sub soil classification, and an assessment of the permeability of the soil/subsoil" surrounding the proposed buildings.