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Greenidge Bitcoin Mining on Seneca Lake

Bitcoin Mining Issue Explained on CBS Sunday Morning

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Seneca Meadows Landfill: Latest News

Texas Waste Giant Wrote $200,000 Check To Help Flip Seneca Falls Board In Favor of Seneca Meadows Landfill

 

SENECA FALLS, Feb. 9, 2022 — Twelve days before the November election, the Texas-based owner of Seneca Meadows Inc. contributed $200,000 to an advocacy group devoted to helping a pair of Republican candidates win seats on the five-member Seneca Falls town board.

 

Frank Sinicropi and Kaitlyn Laskoski went on to defeat two incumbent Democrats who had voted against granting SMI, the state’s largest landfill, a local operating permit and had favored closing the waste facility for good in 2025.

Last week the new board members voted to grant the landfill its local permit without conditions despite objections from opponents who said uncontrolled SMI odors continue to violate state and local laws. 

The $200,000 check from Waste Connections Inc., the nation’s third largest waste management company, dwarfed the total combined campaign contributions reported by the four candidates, which totaled less than $5,000. 

The out-of-state contribution to Responsible Solutions for New York (RSNY) helped fund a public relations blitz aimed at convincing voters that closing the landfill would drive up their property taxes. 

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Latest News on Seneca Lake Bitcoin Mining

The Seneca County Democratic Committee applauds the work of Seneca Lake Guardian in protecting the natural resources, beauty and health of Seneca County. For more information on their work, visit their website: Seneca Lake Guardian 

 

BREAKING: NYS Senate Passes First in the Nation Cryptomining Moratorium

 

June 3, 2022

We're excited to announce that the NY Senate passed the crypto moratorium bill at 2:00 am today. This was despite the fact that the pro crypto lobby spent millions to oppose it.  A very heartfelt THANK YOU to all who put effort into this victory!!! e good news:
No other fossil fuel burning plants will be allowed to repower to mine crypto in NY for 2 years, while a study is completed by DEC.  The bad news:
This does not impact the Greenidge facility on Seneca, as it is already grandfathered in. The work ahead:
We need to push this over the finish line by convincing  Governor Hochul to deny Greenidge's Title V Air Permit, and to sign this bill into law.  We can do it!  We're planning a major rally for Monday June 27th at 11:30 am in Geneva.

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June 27th Rally in Geneva against Cryptomining on Seneca Lake

Facebook Event Link

MONDAY, JUNE 27, 2022 AT 11:30 AM at Fingerlakes Welcome Center, Geneva

Calling on Hochul: Crypto Mining's Got to Go!

Finger Lakes Welcome Center
Description:
URGENT: Please join us at the gazebo on the lake side of the Finger Lakes Welcome Center for an outdoor family friendly rally calling on Governor Hochul to deny Greenidge's Title V Air Permit Renewal and to sign a crypto moratorium into law. The New York State Senate passed a moratorium on crypto mining in fossil fuel burning plants, but this DOES NOT impact the Greenidge facility along Seneca Lake. The Governor has to sign this into law to prevent other communities from being negatively impacted by this harmful industry. She also has the authority to deny Greenidge's Title Air Permit Renewal- a decision which she has kicked down the road not once, but twice- as she has accepted campaign donations from the pro crypto industry. This event falls right before the Gubernatorial Primary Election, and we need to take these goals across the finish line by coming out IN FORCE to let her know how the Finger Lakes community feels about this polluting industry! Please bring 100 of your friends.
Background
Proof-of-work cryptocurrency is an extremely energy-intensive process that requires thousands of machines whirring 24/7 to solve complex equations. The more machines that are running, the faster a coin is mined. Each one of these machines requires energy to run, plus more energy to run cooling technology. Globally, proof-of-work Bitcoin mining uses the same amount of energy each day as the entire country of Argentina. It produces 30,700 metric tons of e-waste each year, comparable to the yearly IT equipment waste of the Netherlands.
More than 1,000 organizations, businesses, environmental activists, concerned residents, wine makers, elected officials, and more have taken action over the last year in opposition to Greenidge and crypto mining in New York State. NYC Comptroller Brad Lander sent a letter to NYS Leadership expressing strong support for a cryptomining moratorium. A letter sent to Governor Hochul in October was signed by more than 650 individuals and groups. In letters to Governor Cuomo last year opposing Greenidge Generation's expansion from an emergency peaker plant to a 24/7 Bitcoin mining operation, organizations, businesses, and Finger Lakes residents demanded Gov. Cuomo revoke Greenidge's grandfathered-in permits. And recently, several groups sent an open letter to Senators Gillibrand and Schumer urging them to visit the Finger Lakes and meet the residents and business owners whose livelihoods are suffering the environmental and economic consequences of Greenidge.
Advocates are also calling on Governor Hochul to put a moratorium on cryptomining through executive action. The Governor is well within her legal authority to act, according to a new white paper from Columbia Law School Sabin Center for Climate Change Law: A Pause on Proof-Of-Work: The New York State Executive Branch's Authority to Enact a Moratorium on the Permitting of Consolidated Proof of Work Cryptocurrency Mining Facilities. The paper (summary of findings available here) draws on precedent established in 2010 when the executive branch signed the fracking moratorium. It finds the Governor has authority to stop new proof-of-work cryptomining operations by enacting a moratorium on the permitting of these facilities until a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) to determine the full extent of the impacts of mining on communities is complete.
Cryptomining is at odds with the overwhelmingly popular amendment to the New York state constitution passed last year, which guarantees every New Yorker the right to clean air, clean water, and a healthful environment. Revitalizing old polluting power plants for private financial gain, with drastic consequences for our air, water and climate, all while causing huge amounts of noise pollution, is now unconstitutional - and ought to be treated as such.
Reform groups Common Cause/NY and NYPIRG have specifically criticized the crypto mining industry for exploiting public resources and straining the energy grid for private gain, and a group of federal lawmakers led by Senator Elizabeth Warren requested details from six major Bitcoin mining companies about their electricity usage and contributions to climate change. The NY League of Conservation voters sent a letter to Governor Hochul urging her to pause and regulate cryptomining, and 1199 SEIU recently announced their endorsement of a cryptomining moratorium. Earlier this year, President Biden issued an executive order requiring federal agencies study the legal, economic, and environmental impacts of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin mining. Even the Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, an avid crypto booster has come out against mining, declaring at a February 9th joint session of the Legislature: "I support cryptocurrency, not crypto mining."
 

Seneca Falls Trash Update

Seneca Falls Trash updates

Update April 2021: Composting! 

The town of Seneca Falls, through the efforts of the Waste Management Committee, has contracted with Natural Upcycling from Linwood NY to begin composting food waste and other compostable materials, thereby pulling much of what smells out of the landfill.  So far, we have 5 restaurants putting their food waste in special totes outside their doors, next to the ones that go to the landfill.  These totes are emptied and rinsed out once a week by Natural Upcycling which takes the waste to one of two facilities that do anaerobic digesting, turning it into biogas, sometimes referred to as renewable natural gas.  The following restaurants are part of our first rollout: Parker’s 84 Fall, El Bajio, Downtown Deli, and Café XIX.  We hope to add more to that list soon and to begin a resident’s component shortly, as well.  Sadly, while we will be pulling out the materials that make “our” landfill smell, the vast majority of what goes into that growing pile does not come from us.  However,  we must do our part to to reduce the pile, and to set a model for other communities.

--Virginia Konz

Earlier Posts

The Town of Seneca Falls has formed a Waste Management Advisory Committee to deal with the current issues surrounding our host agreement with Seneca Meadows and also to make plans to promote recycling in a changing environment and encourage composting, perhaps even in a town-wide location (as had been proposed a few years ago).

The members of this committee are Supervisor Mike Ferrara, Democrat Councilman Doug Avery, longtime environmental advocate Barb Reese, and SCDC members Dan Babbitt, Jean Gilroy and Ginny Konz.

The committee plans to benefit from the experience of Geneva and Clifton Springs, two towns which have received grants to help them set up town-wide recycling/composting programs.

The most serious and difficult issue being discussed by the committee is landfill odor. Most recently, Democratic Town Council Members Doug Avery, Steve Churchill and Dave Delelys have asked that the granting of the annual operating permit to Seneca Meadows be delayed until the problem is better addressed. In particular, they have emphasized the need for an independent odor complaint monitoring system: the current situation, in which Seneca Meadows employees keep track of and evaluate complaints from residents, has resulted in a lack of trust from the public, a perception that “the fox is guarding the henhouse.” Even town supervisor Mike Ferrara has acknowledged the widespread frustration with odor issue: “Many of the residents who have been filing odor complaints,” he said at a recent hearing,” have been doing so for several years.”  

Update July 2020.The committee is checking up on a company called Envirosuite, which we hope would be able to help the town independently monitor and respond to complaints about odors coming from  the landfill, for an estimated $73,000 per year, much less than the 6 figures Seneca Meadows claimed this would cost.

We also are pushing Seneca Meadows regarding the staging of trucks that show up after hours, and hence are stuck there until the morning. And we are curious as to whether hydrogen sulfide gas emissions are being monitored.  We are in touch with the DEC operative who works at the landfill, hoping to get straight answers to some of our questions. - Virginia Konz

 

 

Read more about the recent efforts of these Town Councillors, and about the recent public hearing:

https://fingerlakes1.com/2020/02/28/qa-session-in-seneca-falls-takes-closer-look-at-seneca-meadows-permit-renewal/

https://www.fltimes.com/news/new-seneca-falls-town-board-faces-landfill-permit-issue-to/article_62ed562d-2b52-54b0-837f-210947c9c8c2.html

 Judge Dismisses Seneca Meadows Lawsuit That Challenged Local Law #3 Mandating Its Permanent Closing by December 2025

 

 

Do You Love NY State Parks? Thank a Democrat!

During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt took unprecedented action to put Americans to work with new agencies like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Conservative critics charged that these agencies wasted money on “make work” projects. But CCC and WPA workers built thousands of roads, bridges, tunnels, parks, airports, schools, courthouses, post offices and other public buildings. Agency artists created nearly 500,000 works of public art and brought theater, oral histories, music and dance to communities around the nation.

In our part of New York you can still-- nearly 100 years later—enjoy the beautiful stonework stairs and bridges built by the WPA and CCC in Letchworth, Robert Treman, Fillmore Glen and Taughannock State Parks.


The Seneca County Democratic Committee Believes that Climate Change is Real

Check this page for news about  efforts to combat climate change, pollution and other threats to our health and the planet, locally and globally.