NY bill proposes moratorium on crypto mines and mandates environmental impact assessments

A new bill on the floor of the New York State Senate aims to prohibit crypto mining centers from operating until the state can assess their environmental impact.

New York Senate Bill 6486 has been referred to the State Senate's Environmental Conservation Committee after its introduction by Senator Kevin Parker on Monday. 

The bill would institute a three-year moratorium on a crypto firm's mining operation. The state would then conduct a full environmental impact statement on the impact of the center's greenhouse gas emissions from mining, as well as its effects on water quality, air quality and wildlife. The report would be accompanied by a 120-day public comment period and at least one public hearing.

Mining centers shown to be harmful, which would constitute those that throw the state off the track of meeting its emission targets detailed in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019, won't receive the necessary permits to operate. 

The bill argues that many of New York's mining centers are located in retired or converted fossil-fuel power stations.

If the bill is voted through, it will likely affect New York's Greenridge Generation plant. The power plant based in Dresden, New York was mining about 5.5 bitcoins each day in 2020. The plant's parent company, Greenridge Generation Holdings, is expected to go public through a U.S. merger deal this year. 

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Aislinn Keely joined The Block in the summer of 2019. She is a member of the outlet's policy team, holding down the legal beat. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV, where she reported and anchored newscasts in addition to some podcast work. Aislinn is a proud Fordham Ram and editor-in-chief emerita of its newspaper. When she isn't writing or reporting, Aislinn is running and rock climbing.

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