EPA denies Bitcoin mining power plant request to continue using coal ash pond for waste

New England

DRESDEN, N.Y. (WETM) — On Jan. 11, the EPA denied a request by Greenidge’s Bitcoin Mining operation to continue using their coal ash pond for waste until 2023.

Greenidge Generation runs a once-mothballed plant near the shore of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region to produce about 44 megawatts to run 15,300 computer servers, plus additional electricity it sends into the state’s power grid. The megawatts dedicated to Bitcoin might be enough electricity to power more than 35,000 homes.

Greenidge filed an application with the EPA to take advantage of a Trump rollback to continue operating its coal ash pond past an April 11, 2021 deadline to cease accepting waste. Coal ash waste is a by-product of burning coal. Greenidge asked for permission to operate the pond until October 2023.

The EPA denied their request and said the following in an official release.

EPA has determined that Greenidge is not eligible for the extension because the facility operates natural gas-fired boilers instead of coal-fired boilers. This interim determination is being made after the April 11, 2021 deadline to cease receipt of waste; therefore, EPA is proposing to establish a new deadline for Greenridge to cease receipt of waste into the C-Pond of 135 days after EPA’s final decision.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA will take comment solely on when the cease receipt date for the ash pond should be. A 30-day public comment period will end on February 23, 2022.

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