Sierra Club leads lawsuit against NY town to prevent expanding Bitcoin mining operations

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Several organizations have filed a lawsuit against the US city of Torrey, New York, for approving a plan to expand a Bitcoin Mining Facility (BTC) near one of the finger lakes.

In court documents filed Thursday with the New York State Supreme Court, the Sierra Club, Seneca Lake Guardian, the Finger Lakes Conservation Committee, and more than 20 local residents allege that the local government violated the state’s laws by they approved the Greenidge Generation site plan to expand operations for the existing Bitcoin mining facility.

Allegations in the lawsuit allege that Greenidge circumvented laws that require an environmental impact statement by filing for regulatory approval “through two separate but interdependent permit applications”. New York residents who joined the lawsuit have a variety of reasons for filing with the Sierra Club, from potential noise complaints to speculation that the mining facility would contaminate lake water and adversely affect wildlife and recreational activities.

The Greenidge power plant in the nearby city of Dresden uses a pipeline to bring natural gas directly into the facility, generating electricity for its Bitcoin mining facility, and reducing costs. The private equity firm Atlas Holding owns the facility and installed 7,000 crypto mining machines in the past year.

According to the local news agency Fingerlakes1, the plant was recently operated “only intermittently and far below its generating capacity”. Greenidge applied to local authorities for expansion and requested permission to construct and operate four new buildings with Bitcoin mining machines.The facility would reportedly allow Greenidge to operate “at full capacity, full-time.”

At a city government meeting in October, the company claimed the bitcoin mining facility would “stay firmly within the environmental limits set by the state and federal government.”