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Greenidge Generation completes screen installation on intake pipe

Vaughn Golden
Greenidge Generation said it has installed screens over its intake pipe on Seneca Lake.

Greenidge Generation, the cryptocurrency mining operation on Seneca Lake that’s been a target of environmentalists, has followed through installing screens on its water intake pipe.

The power plant and Bitcoin mining operation draws water from Seneca Lake. One of environmentalists’ complaints was that the facility didn’t have adequate screens on its intake pipe in the middle of the lake.

Last month, Greenidge said it completed the installation of new screens to bring it up to compliance with standards from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and other regulatory agencies.

The company wrote in a statement the installation cost more than $6 million dollars and is part of its commitment to environmental standards.

“Our opponents like to pretend you can stop by Home Depot and pick up some metal fencing and just throw it on the intake pipe. But anyone serious knows that isn’t the case. We have checked every single box required by State DEC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, going through years of detailed study and testing, because this needs to be done right for the lake we all love,” Greenidge Generation President Dale Irwin wrote in a statement.

Seneca Lake Guardian, one of the environmental organizations leading opposition to the facility, wrote in a response that the installation of the screen comes too late and should’ve used better technology.

“They're boasting that they're installing less-than-optimal technology after waiting until the eleventh hour. They were given 5 years to install protective screens and they dragged their heels until their permit expired- it's ridiculous,” Yvonne Taylor, Vice President of Seneca Lake Guardian, wrote in a statement.

The DEC is currently hearing an appeal after denying renewal of Greenidge’s air pollution permit last year.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.