FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2023
For more information, contact:
Helen Askim, County Administrator
Williams County Update Regarding Atlas Power Data Center
WILLISTON, N.D. (June 29, 2023): Based on status updates delivered by the Development Services Department and FX Solutions at the June 29, 2023 regular meeting of the Board of County Commissioners, issuance of a standard 60-day Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) to Atlas Power Holdings ND, LLC was unanimously approved by motion of the County Commission.
During the meeting, officials confirmed that Atlas Power Holdings ND, LLC had rectified building code violations, met State and County requirements for building inspections and paid the fines levied against them for previous building code violations totaling $232,000. In addition, a representative from the project’s general contractor, FX Solutions, updated the Board on the scheduled installation of acoustical panels and security fencing, anticipated to be complete by mid-July, which will serve as a sight and sound barrier for the site. Issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy will be considered once a required emergency access road is fully completed following acoustical panel installation.
The Williams County Development Services Department and Williams County Board of County Commissioners have been working to address ongoing issues and violations on the site owned and operated by Atlas Power Holdings ND, LLC for several months. Beginning in April 2023, County staff and officials began receiving noise complaints from residents surrounding the Atlas Power Data Center, located west of Williston. While addressing the complaints, several Williams County Building Code and Zoning Ordinance violations were identified. It was determined that Atlas Power Holdings ND, LLC was operating eight buildings associated with “Phase 2” of their facility without the required Certificate of Occupancy.
During the May 2, 2023 Board of County Commissioners meeting, Atlas Power was given 45 days to rectify violations identified by the Development Services Department. At the June 20, 2023 Board of County Commissioners meeting, Commissioners were informed that the conditions of the May 2nd order had not been fully addressed; under authority of the County Building Code, the Board directed Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative (MWEC) to disconnect power to buildings on the Phase 2 building permit. On June 21st, MWEC served a Petition for Declaratory Judgement to the County and did not comply with the directive for utility disconnection.
Williams County staff and officials will continue to work with Atlas Power Holdings ND, LLC and its contractors to resolve any outstanding compliance issues on the site.