NY Bitcoin Mining Expansion Project Sued By Environmentalist Groups

In Torrey, New York, several environmentalist groups have filed a lawsuit against a bitcoin mining expansion project at the Greenidge Generation Power Plant.

Sierra Club, the Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes, the Seneca Lake Guardian, and at least 30 individuals filed an Article 78 petition in Yates County Supreme Court opposing the expansion project to increase water cooling capabilities at the plant. The petition claims that the water runoff from the mining facility will endanger human and environmental health. 

This lawsuit comes after Greenidge filed a request to add 4 new warehouses in early 2020 that will house the water cooling systems and additional mining rigs. However, the environmentalist’s petition states that the way Greenidge filed for the expansion violated the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

“Greenidge sought approval of this project through two separate but interdependent approval applications, thus segmenting their request for approval.” This led to confusion regarding how the additional hot water discharge going into Seneca Lake will affect the body of water and its surroundings.

In response to the allegation against the possible harmful effects of additional cooling mechanisms, Greenidge stated:

“Even with this (bitcoin expansion) project, our plant will remain firmly inside the environmental limits set by the state and federal governments.”

The mining facility received its first approval from the Torrey Planning Board in October 2019. This first approval allowed operations within the power plant itself. Atlas Holding, the owner of the power plant, installed 7,000 bitcoin mining machines after getting its first green light.

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