New York Residents Accuse Bitcoin Mining Plant of Water Pollution
Residents of Dresden, New York, have accused Greenidge Generation LLC’s bitcoin mining plant of increasing the temperature of the Seneca lake. Seneca lake is arguably the largest and deepest lake in finger lakes, upstate New York.
Hot Lake Dangerous to Marine Life
Residents opined that the power plant’s gas fire is polluting the lake by increasing its temperature. Abi Buddington, a resident in the area, revealed to news media that the lake’s temperature is similar to having a warm bath in a hot tub.
Other residents agreed with Buddington and expressed worries at how the hot temperatures are obliterating life in the lake. One major worry of the locals is the trout fish species which is commonly found in the lake. This fish species can’t thrive at temperatures higher than 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
Micheal Mckeon, a spokesperson for the company, denied the allegations by the residents saying, “it is false to say we are channeling hot water into the lake. We use modern technology, which we will keep updating to ensure that we don’t cause any harm to the aquatic life in the lake.”
Greenidge uses at least 8,500 computers that work around the clock and burn huge quantities of energy to mine digital currency. The company argues that its mining operations do not pollute the environment. Two months ago, Greenidge revealed that part of its sustainability objectives is to buy carbon offsets.
But an ex-regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Judith Enck, disagrees with the company’s plan to buy carbon offsets. Judith argued that greenhouse gas objectives couldn’t be achieved with carbon offsets. She further said that there are no New York State regulations for carbon offsets.
Local Authorities Back Greenidge
While residents would like to get rid of Greenidge, the local authorities do not want them to go. Aside from paying their dues to the local authorities, Greenidge is also boosting the local economy. It hires miners and employs more workforce in the community.
The firm has also been involved in various corporate sponsorships in the area. Greenidge gave the school district $21,000 for education development and enrichment programs. It also donated $26,000 to the Dresden fire department for “jaws-of-life” equipment.
However, Hector De La Rosa (a bitcoin enthusiast) argued in favor of the bitcoin mining company. Making his argument via a Twitter thread, he said that the temperature of one kilogram of water could only be raised by one degree with 1.18 watt-hours.
Using this analogy would take a daily emission of 7,000mw daily for one full year to increase Seneca lake’s temperature by one degree. Hector then said Greenidge doesn’t use up to 7,000MW of electricity per day. The maximum power that Greenidge’s 8,500 computers can generate is 24MW, and that temperature cannot raise Seneca lake’s temperature to hot levels.
Hector De La Rosa Twitter Thread. Source: Twitter
A few months ago, Greenidge revealed that it would soon merge with support.com (an information technology firm) to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Once that merger is finalized by this year’s third quarter, NASDAQ will list Greenidge and make it the first publicly traded bitcoin miner that creates its power.
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