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Organizations led by an environmental organization filed a lawsuit against the U.S. town Torrey in New York for giving the green light to expand a bitcoin mining facility at the Greenidge Generation power plant.
Environmental Organization Leads Lawsuit Against New York Town for Approving Plan to Expand BTC Mining Facility
Per court documents, the Sierra Club — who leads the lawsuit—, the Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake Guardian, and others filed an Article 78 petition in Yates County Supreme Court against Greenidge Generation LLC, the Town of Torrey, and the Torrey Planning Board, asking for a court injunction to block construction.
They claim in the allegations that the planned expansion of the mining facility will harm water discharges into Seneca Lake, whose operations started in early 2019, and data equipment drew on plant-generated power that never hit the grid.
While officials stated such activities don’t violate any laws, plaintiffs assure otherwise. The plant, Greenidge, asked the Town of Torrey to expand bitcoin mining facilities early in 2020 by building four new warehouses that will host cooling and computing equipment.
However, the Article 78 petition says that local officials 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.
According to Fingerlakes1, the petition also alleged that the planning board didn’t consider taking a “hard look” at the need for additional water to cool the generating station “and the discharge of super-heated water into Seneca Lake.”
Concerns on Harm to Health
Two of the plaintiffs stated that they are feared that their health “may be harmed” if bitcoin mining facilities are expanded as expected.
Despite the previous efforts ahead of the lawsuit by the organizations involved in the legal action, Greenidge commented:
Even with this (bitcoin expansion) project, our plant will remain firmly inside the environmental limits set by the state and federal governments.
Atlas Holding, a private equity firm and Greenidge owner, had installed around 7,000 bitcoin mining machines in 2019.