FLX Call To Action

Greenidge Bitcoin Mining Expansion

"In a matter of days, the Town of Torrey Planning Board will make a decision that could have ramifications for the Finger Lakes that go far beyond their town or county’s borders. They will be faced with deciding whether to heed the recommendation from Yates County and hundreds of concerned citizens to reject Greenidge’s gas-powered bitcoin mining expansion.

Tabling approval would give the town time to review the studies on noise and thermal pollution impacts that won’t be completed until 2022.

It gives the town the ability to honor its own Zoning Law, which states:

• “The proposed use will not adversely impact adjacent properties, existing infrastructure or environmentally sensitive features on or near the site such as steep slopes, Seneca Lake or other bodies of water, water courses, the Outlet Trail, mature woodlands, or wetlands;”

• “The proposed use will not adversely impact adjacent properties with regard to excessive or unreasonable disturbance such as noise, light, glare, vibration, shadow, vapors, smoke, fumes, dust, particulate emissions or odors.’

Neighbors are already hearing noise from the facility that will only increase with expansion.

DEC reports that “Thermal pollution can kill fish outright, block fish migrations, cause the growth of nuisance species, and create other problems as well.”

Greenidge can discharge 132 million gallons at up to 108 degrees/day into the Keuka Outlet, which goes directly into Seneca Lake. This hot water will harm trout and other aquatic life, and increase the likelihood of Harmful Algal Blooms.

Data centers have significant fire risks with subsequent risk of harm to firefighters from toxic gases emitted by burning computers. Must we add this burden to our first responders?

Dirty, inefficient fracked-gas power plants for private bitcoin mining are TOTALLY INCOMPATIBLE with the Finger Lakes’ driving economic engine where travel and tourism are poised to play even greater roles in the regional economy. Jobs in this sector are expected to outpace the region’s overall rate of job growth (+7%) between 2012 and 2022.

Conversely, very few jobs will be created by Greenidge’s expansion, since it consists of adding only new, fully automated bitcoin mining computers.

Burning more fossil fuels at this inefficient old plant will emit more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in the midst of a global climate crisis. The FLX has already experienced more frequent and severe storms and flooding due to climate change. This plan contradicts everything Gov. Cuomo’s State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act conveys. Don’t stain this legacy by allowing this facility to expand.

What can you do?
Submit comments to the Torrey Town Clerk at: townclerk@townoftorrey.com before March 15. Ask that the Town Planning Board honor the recommendation from Yates County to reject the expansion application. Add your own reasons for commenting.

Call Gov. Cuomo at (518) 474-8390. Urge him to deny and revoke permits for Greenidge on Seneca Lake. He is a leader on climate issues. This plant will be a stain on that legacy.

Yvonne Taylor is the Vice President of Seneca Lake Guardian.