In New York State, the hunt for bitcoin miners is far from over. Finger Lakes environmental activists in partnership with the Sierra Club say no to mining. They oppose the operation of a disused Seneca Lake power plant used for bitcoin mining. These activists are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to shut down the Greenidge Generation mining plant.
A lawsuit to bring against Greenidge
They are not in their first legal action. For eight years, these ecologists have been campaigning for the closure of the factory without winning their case. They filed a new complaint against Greenidge Generation in the Rochester, Western District of New York State. The complaint is brought by the Seneca Lake Guardian (Committee for the Preservation of the Finger Lakes) and the Sierra Club. This complaint comes as Greenidge Generation could consider filing for bankruptcy.
Indeed, Greenidge Generation stated in a file filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month that, although it restructured nearly $74 million in debt, it still viewed bankruptcy as a possibility. ” There remains uncertainty regarding Greenidge’s financial condition and substantial doubt as to its ability to continue in business. “, indicates the file.
The complaint filed by environmental activists Sierra Club and Finger Lakes claims that Greenidge Generation, the bitcoin mining facility located in the village of Yates in Dresden, is against the rules of the Clean Water Act and other federal environmental regulations. Remember that this legal action comes after several months of negotiations between three actors. The Greenidge Genaration plant, environmentalists wanting the plant closed, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
One lawsuit too many against the mining company?
In any case, this is the opinion of the president of Greenidge Generation. In effect, Dale Irwin castigates this lawsuit and the groups that filed this complaint. ” How many times are we going to do the exact same thing? You could have set your watch on interest groups filing another frivolous legal challenge that is ultimately just a publicity stunt. he said, responding to The Beacon’s request for comment. ” They have lost every lawsuit they have filed in eight years, with five court decisions against them and zero for them. The outcome here will follow the same pattern: file a lawsuit, get media attention, then later lose in court because you have no cause. “, he added.
Why this duel between the activists and the Seneca Lake miners?
In fact, the Seneca Lake is a former coal-fired power plant. She was modernized in 2017 to run on natural gas, then decommissioned. However, since 2019, the old power station has been run by Greenidge as a bitcoin mining industry.
In documents submitted to the state, Greenidge presented itself as an engine of economic development that would create many jobs. But environmental activists say the project is an environmental disaster. They claim that bitcoin mining operations pollute the air, generate greenhouse gases. In addition, the plant discharges harmful hot water into Seneca Lake. This upsets the ecological balance of Finger Lake.
In 2021, in an article of Rochester Beacon, commentator Michael Warren Thomas described the Seneca Lake Generating Station as operating ” in a New York environmental regulatory loophole the size of a power plant “. On the one hand, Finger Lakes and Sierra Club activists argue that the plant violates many environmental standards. On the other hand, Greenidge maintains that the environmental impact of its plant operations is insignificant.
Last June, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) rejected Greenidge’s request to renew its pollution permit. The company criticized the agency’s decision and said the decision would not affect plant operations. However, in the filed complaint, activists claim that Greenidge’s pollution permit has expired since September 2022.
Could Greenidge Generation file for bankruptcy?
According to Finger Lakes and Sierra Club activists, the bitcoin mining company has not submitted a license renewal application to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation with the necessary information required. by the federal government for renewal. As a result, the facility would no longer have the right to continue discharging pollutants into Seneca Lake under its expired permit. A thesis categorically rejected by the president of the company.
” Greenidge has completed an advanced $6 million fish screen system, meeting all state and federal requirements, to protect aquatic life in Seneca Lake. Efforts like this on the part of naysayers are why no one in the Finger Lakes listened to these horseflies anymore; they have no credibility. We continue to operate with a valid permit, and the latest false complaint from these perennial litigation losers can’t change that. “said Dalle Irwin in reaction to the comments of his opponents.
Pending the outcome of this trial, bitcoin miners continue to attract the wrath of environmental activists. In the specific case, the president of the company Greenidge remains calm and believes that these activists are only issuing press releases disguised as lawsuits and simply wasting time and court costs. Are we going to witness yet another wrongful lawsuit against bitcoin mining?
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