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State regulators deny air pollution permit to cryptocurrency mining plant near Seneca Lake

Rolling grass hills border the shore of Seneca Lake.
Scott Willis
Rolling grass hills border the shore of Seneca Lake.

New York State will not renew air pollution permits for a controversial power plant in the Finger Lakes. The Greenidge Generation Facility had been scrutinized by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for burning natural gas to generate Bitcoin.

The environmental regulator says the increased amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with cryptocurrency mining does not comply with the state’s climate goals.

Environmental activists are calling the move a victory. They include Yvonne Taylor, Vice President of Seneca Lake Guardian.

"This is a precedent-setting case. It's extremely critical that we move forward in New York and lead on climate which is exactly what Governor Hochul has just done now and we hope that she will continue to lead," said Taylor.

Greenidge wrote in a statement that it will appeal the decision. The company called the move politically charged.

This will be the first time the state has denied the renewal of an air pollution permit based on the state’s climate law.

Last year, the DEC denied permits for two new facilities, the Astoria and Danskammer generating stations.