The Department of Environmental Conservation on Thursday denied the renewal of a key air permit for Greenridge Generation in the Finger Lakes region of the state, which is being used to digitally mine cryptocurrency.
The decision to not renew the permit by environmental regulators came after a sustained push from advocates at the local and state level, which have sought to limit proof-of-work crypto-mining in New York due to concerns over the high amount of energy used in the process.
Advocates have at the same time been pressing Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that would put a two-year moratorium in place for crypto-mining. Hochul has not indicated which way she will act on the bill, which was approved earlier this month by state lawmakers.
"This is an incredible, precedent-setting moment for everyone who has fought side by side with the Finger Lakes community. Governor Hochul and the DEC stood with science and the people, and sent a message to outside speculators: New York's former fossil fuel-burning plants are not yours to re-open as gas-guzzling Bitcoin mining cancers on our communities," said Yvonne Taylor, vice president of Seneca Lake Guardian. "Now, it's up to Governor Hochul to finish the job by signing the crypto-mining moratorium bill. Especially in light of this morning's EPA v. WV decision, she has a real opportunity to protect New York's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act -- and lead the nation – by acting now."
In a statement, Greengridge Generation said it its operations at Dresden will continue under its existing permit that remains in effect. The firm also knocked the DEC's decision as "arbitrary and capricious."
“We believe there is no credible legal basis whatsoever for a denial of this application because there is no actual threat to the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act from our renewed permit," the company said in the statement. "This is a standard air permit renewal governing emissions levels for a facility operating in full compliance with its existing permit today. It is not, and cannot be transformed into, a politically charged ‘cryptocurrency permit’."