On Sept. 11, 2017, the state Department of Environmental Conservation issued Greenidge Generation water withdrawal and State Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits. The DEC did so without requiring the plant to install cylindrical wedge wire intake screens on the plant’s cooling water intakes and variable speed cooling water pumps to reduce fish mortality.
The Sierra Club, the Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes, the Coalition to Preserve New York, and Seneca Lake Guardian filed a lawsuit against the DEC Nov. 8, claiming the permits shouldn’t have been issued without the additional requirements.
Lawyers are scheduled argue their cases at 2 p.m. May 22 in state Supreme Court of Yates County. Acting Supreme Court Justice William Kocher will preside.
The plaintiffs claim the water withdrawal permit allowing Greenidge to take up to 139.2 million gallons of water per day from Seneca Lake, along with a modified SPDES permit, are legally deficient because they were issued without a proper environmental review of the impacts of restarting the Greenidge station. The lawsuit asks to have the permits annulled and a new environmental review to be conducted.
Greenidge Generation acquired the former coal-fired generating plant and retrofitted it to allow natural gas to run the turbines.