Greenidge Generation LLC is a natural gas power plant that’s mining cryptocurrency on an industrial scale, and Greenidge aims to expand its operations. 

The last round of government approval needed to give the greenlight to Greenidge’s expansion, is the Torrey Town Planning board.

Torrey is a small, rural town in the heart of the Finger Lakes, situated on the west side of Seneca Lake. The Planning Board is reviewing a site plan application for Greenidge at it’s meeting on April 19th. 

There are a lot of layers to this decision. Whether Torrey approves or denies the site plan application from this huge crypto-mining operation is, in a sense, besides the point now.

At least regionally and potentially state wide, Greenidge has tipped over a set of dominoes; alerting local governments, public officials, and activist groups to cryptocurrency mining’s potential impact on environmental impact. 

Special thanks to Peter Mantius for his participation in this piece. You can read his work here: waterfrontonline.blog

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An earlier version of this story stated that Greenidge Generation didn’t respond for comment or interview. Michael McKeon, a spokesman for Greenidge said in an email that Greenidge is operating successfully within their permitted levels. McKeon said that Greenidge welcomes the Climate Leadership Legislation and Communities protection act.

McKeon also spoke to the claim that Greenidge could potentiate harmful algal blooms, and cited the relatively mild 2020 HABs season on Seneca Lake. As a proof that Greenidge was not increasing their occurrence, nor were there any HABs recorded near the Greenidge plant.

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Some changes in scoring and sound design have been made since this story originally aired.