New York town sued for approving mining complex in Finger Lakes

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The town of Torrey in New York is the subject of a number of lawsuits, following the announcement of plans to expand a block reward mining facility in the town.

Court papers filed with the State of New York Supreme Court show action brought by over 20 individual residents, as well as the Sierra Club, Seneca Lake Guardian and, the Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes.

The actions claim local government acted beyond state laws in approving the plans on behalf of Greenidge Generation, the firm operating the mining facility.

In particular, the cases allege that Greenidge circumvented laws which require an Environmental Impact Statement to be drawn up, because they opted to proceed “through two separate but interdependent approval applications.”

The claims filed by residents also touch on other environmental complaints, including noise issues, concerns over contamination of local water sources, and the negative impact on local wildlife, nature and recreation around the Finger Lakes.

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The mining facility is powered by the local Greenidge power plant, which pipes natural gas from the nearby town of Dresden to the mining facility, owned and operated by the same firm.

The facility is owned by Atlas Holdings, which installed 7,000 block reward mining hardware units there in the last year.

Local media reports suggest the plant has operated on an intermittent basis and in any event below its capacity in recent years. The expansion would see the plant operating at full capacity, full time, which has also raised concerns from local stakeholders.

Responding to concerns raised at a town meeting in October, the company said that its mining operation would “remain firmly inside the environmental limits set by the state and federal governments.”

The case shines the spotlight on the impact of large scale block reward mining, which continues to take a toll on local environments and ecosystems.

 

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