Residents rally against proposed cryptocurrency mining facility on Seneca Lake

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DRESDEN, N.Y. (WHEC) — People in the Finger Lakes Friday rallied against a cryptocurrency mining facility saying it’ll take away tourism to the Finger Lakes, and detrimentally impact the environment.

It all comes after the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released an air permit request from Greenidge Generation, regarding its cryptocurrency mining facility in Dresden.

More than 5,000 public comments were received, most urging Gov. Kathy Hochul to deny those air permits and preserve the state’s climate laws.

Hundreds of businesses signed off on a letter to the governor, claiming Greenidge would use a tremendous amount of energy working out of a former power plant and would discharge up to 134 million gallons of hot water a day into Seneca Lake.

"As a father, I take my kids out, we go boating, we go fishing," said Boundary Break Vineyard Manager Kees Stapel. "I want clean water for them to swim in. I want my pet to be able to go out into the lake without a harmful algae bloom harming or killing my pet. As a fisherman, you know this is supposed to be the Lake Trout capital of the world. Not anymore. We’ve got salinity issues, we’ve got all sorts of these issues. You know, a Lake Trout likes it at 42°, this is coming out 108° next to a tributary where fish spawn. Trout fry. Small fish cannot handle 108° it’s going to kill ’em immediately."

Greenidge reached out to News10NBC about these claims, saying the maximum allowable water discharge from their facility is the equivalent of dropping one teaspoon of slightly warmer water into a full bathtub.

The company also says everything they do is 100% carbon neutral and has already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 70% at their facility, by eliminating the use of coal.