YATES COUNTY, NY (WENY) -- An environmental agency, as well as a number of groups, businesses and individuals appeared in Yates County Court Tuesday, accusing the town of Torrey of failing to do a proper environmental review before approving a bitcoin mining expansion project.

The Sierra Club and other plaintiffs in the Article 78 proceeding are seeking a preliminary injunction to halt Greenidge Generation's expanded bitcoin mining operation at its facility in Dresden, on Seneca Lake. The Article 78 was filed against the Town of Torrey, Town of Torrey Planning Board, and Greenidge Generation.

Lawsuit Filed Against Town of Torrey, Bitcoin Mining Operation in Yates County 
The plaintiffs allege the Town of Torrey failed to assess the potential adverse environmental impacts of the bitcoin mining on Seneca Lake and surrounding area.

Greenidge Generation is in the process of expanding its bitcoin mining operation to other locations. As of early January, the company has over 17,000 bitcoin miners, with plans to expand to 49,000 in late 2022. The company has plans to construct four new buildings to house the additional miners.

Opponents of the operation say the practice of bitcoin mining poses environmental threats, and goes against New York State's climate goals. 

"We hope that Judge Doyle will rule in our favor to stop Greenidge Generation LLC from filling the Finger Lakes with 32,500 climate-killing Bitcoin machines. Mining is a cancer on our communities that's destroying our natural resources, kneecapping local businesses, and keeping New York from meeting the crucial climate goals outlined by the CLCPA. That's why we're also calling on the DEC to deny Greenidge's air permit renewal and Governor Hochul to impose a moratorium on Bitcoin mining until we can properly assess the environmental, economic, and public health impact. New York cannot be the wild west for this dangerous industry," said Joseph Campbell, president of Seneca Lake Guardian.

Opponents of Greenidge Plant call for NYS to have moratorium on bitcoin mining 
Greenidge Generation also has Title V and Title IV air permits up for renewal with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Those permits were issued in 2016, before Greenidge began its bitcoin mining. Greenidge also operates a  natural gas power plant at the property in Dresden, for which the air permits were initially granted in 2016.