VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — The New York Division of Environmental Conservation is transferring ahead with public hearings over a Yates County cryptocurrency mining operation this week, the most recent step in a course of that might end in authorized precedent across the state’s cornerstone local weather regulation.
Environmental advocacy organizations plan to encourage the DEC to disclaim the renewal of Title V air permits for Greenidge Generation, a pure gas-burning energy plant and cryptocurrency mining operation alongside Seneca Lake, in public hearings Wednesday.
“Whereas ample info has been submitted to start the required public evaluation, right now the applicant has not demonstrated compliance with the necessities of the Local weather Management and Neighborhood Safety Act, together with necessities concerning greenhouse fuel emissions,” the DEC wrote in an announcement to WSKG shortly after it announced the hearings final month.
That assertion coincided with a Tweet from DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos saying Greenidge “has not proven compliance” with the Local weather Management and Neighborhood Safety Act (CLCPA).
NYS is taking motion on #ClimateChange. As we speak @NYSDEC launched for public remark draft air permits for former coal plant turned bitcoin mine, Greenidge LLC. DEC has not made a closing dedication on the permits and Greenidge has not proven compliance with NY’s local weather regulation./1 pic.twitter.com/PKozYCUIeQ
— Basil Seggos🇺🇸 (@BasilSeggos) September 8, 2021
A spokesperson for the DEC denied WSKG’s request for an interview with Seggos on the Greenidge permits.
Although the Greenidge facility has drawn the attention of environmental teams because it was authorized to dialog from coal-firing to pure fuel in 2016, the controversy has now tied itself to the authorized fortitude of the CLCPA.
“All eyes are on what occurs with this explicit facility,” Liz Moran, New York Coverage Director for EarthJustice, an advocacy group, informed WSKG. “Will it’s allowed to maneuver ahead? Will it’s seen as being in alignment with our local weather objectives?”
Moran additionally identified that the Greenidge case is among the first cases of CLCPA being known as into query on the renewal of an present air air pollution allow as an alternative of a brand new permits as was seen with the proposed Danskammer and Astoria energy crops.
Roger Downs, Conservation Director of the Sierra Membership’s Atlantic Chapter, compares the Greenidge renewal with the state’s dealing with of pure fuel fracking simply over a decade in the past.
“I feel it is a very analogous scenario and I feel the DEC is exploring all of the tendrils of their authorized potential to place a halt on this exercise till they’ll research it and its full impacts and the provide you with the regulatory program to both enable it or disallow sure facets of it,” Downs stated in an interview.
Downs and Moran each assist a statewide moratorium on proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining, as has been proposed by Ithaca Assemblymember Anna Kelles (D-125). Meeting leaders didn’t take up Kelles’ laws as this year’s legislative session drew to a detailed after the Worldwide Brotherhood of Electrical Employees voiced its opposition to the moratorium.
A spokesman for Greenidge Era denied WSKG’s request for an interview, however maintained that it believes its permits must be renewed and the ability is in compliance with the climate law.
“We embrace the essential objectives of the CLCPA,” the Greenidge spokesman wrote in a part of an announcement offered to WSKG after the DEC hearings had been introduced. “Our present onsite and upstream potential CO2e emissions are already considerably decrease than the ability’s precise emissions in 1990, as a result of step we took in partnership with the State to remove coal-fired operations.”
The registration interval to take part in Wednesday’s hearings has closed, however written public remark is being accepted till Oct. 22.