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Judge dismisses lawsuit against Greenidge over water discharge permit

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  • Staff Report 

Greenidge Generation Holdings Inc., a cryptocurrency datacenter and power generation firm, has secured a major legal victory following the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging its water discharge permit. Judge Elizabeth Wolford of the U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, dismissed the suit brought forth by Earthjustice on behalf of environmental groups, including Seneca Lake Guardian and the Sierra Club, due to “failure to state a claim.”

In her decision, Judge Wolford pointed out that state regulations determined the adequacy of Greenidge’s renewal application. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation had previously deemed Greenidge’s water discharge permit renewal application both timely and fitting.

This marks the latest in a series of legal challenges against the company, with opponents filing suits against Greenidge four times since 2016. These legal actions ranged from challenges to air and water permits to disputing construction approvals at Greenidge’s New York facility. Greenidge opponents have yet to secure a win in court, with all six rulings, including related appeals, falling in favor of the company.

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In response to the ruling, Dale Irwin, President of Greenidge Generation, emphasized the company’s commitment to local environmental protections, citing the recent completion of a $6 million advanced fish screen system to preserve aquatic life in Seneca Lake. “We are all locals here, and most of us grew up with Seneca Lake as a significant part of our lives. We deeply care about its well-being,” Irwin said. He criticized the repetitive legal challenges as mere media stunts, adding that such tactics have eroded the credibility of the opposing parties in the Finger Lakes region.

The now-dismissed case questioned Greenidge’s utilization of its State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit, which allows the company to discharge water.