New York Town Bemoans Roadside ‘Littered’ With Bitcoin Miners — Officials Plan to Impose 90-Day Moratorium

A St. Lawrence county town located in New York near the Canadian border, Massena, is another region in the state that is having issues with bitcoin miners. According to recent reports from the local WWNY-TV news desk and Reuters, the Massena town supervisor is drafting new regulations for bitcoin mining operations.

Officials From Town of Massena Don’t Like the Look of Bitcoin Miners Operating Alongside Route 42

The town of Massena, with a population of around 13K, has attracted bitcoin miners according to a report from Reuters. The New York town’s officials have taken issue with bitcoin miners and the authorities plan to impose a 90-day moratorium on any new bitcoin miners looking to tap into the town’s energy sources.

According to Massena Town Supervisor Steve O’Shaughnessy, the town doesn’t want Massena’s roadsides to be filled with shipping containers that house mining rigs.

“We don’t want it littered with these trailers that are pumping out bitcoin,” O’Shaughnessy told WWNY-TV. “We just want to make sure if they’re going to come here, that it’s a nice presentable building,” he added.

New York Town Bemoans Roadsides ‘Littered’ With Bitcoin Miners — Officials Plan to Impose 90-Day Moratorium
Photograph of the alleged mining operations via the regional news station WWNY-TV.

The report notes that there’s been a surge of cryptocurrency miners setting up shop in Massena. The electrical company Massena Electric is currently in the midst of negotiations with three prospective operations.

“The key components for the developers is low-cost electricity and reliability, which are two things we’ve always had,” Andrew McMahon, Massena Electric’s superintendent said. Reports say Route 42 in Massena near Fort Covington has numerous mobile bitcoin mining units that are housed in shipping containers.

Massena Electric told WWNY-TV that the deals with bitcoin miners always come second to current customers but “customers could even benefit from the increased sales.”

New York Continues to Have Tussles With the Bitcoin Mining Industry, Route 42 Mining Facility Advertised for Sale

The crypto mining operation Petawatt Group is located in Massena, as the firm was able to purchase 140 acres of land two years ago. Petawatt Group and its co-founder Jason Rappaport say bitcoin mining operations can potentially bring jobs to Massena locals.

“We’re not like some new operation that decamped from somewhere else and coming in and trying to find power, you know, relatively inexpensively, and not being part of the community,” Rappaport stressed to the local news station.

New York Town Bemoans Roadsides ‘Littered’ With Bitcoin Miners — Officials Plan to Impose 90-Day Moratorium
Interestingly, around the same time the Massena town officials started to complain, an advertisement for a cryptocurrency mining facility located on Route 42 was listed for sale. The property offers “power and location” for $299,000 and claims the owner can get energy at rates as low as $0.03 per kWh. “The facility has approved 2 MW power available underneath three-phase power lines owned by Massena Electric Department,” the ad details. “The electrical service can potentially be upgraded to 10MW and even above.”

New York and bitcoin miners have seemed to go hand-in-hand because of the state’s abundant access to cheap hydropower. However, residents and officials from a few New York communities have taken issue with bitcoin miners in a similar fashion.

For instance, residents who live alongside Seneca Lake blamed bitcoin mining for heating up the water. The lake was “so warm you feel like you’re in a hot tub,” a report by NBC News noted at the time.

Democrat senator Kevin Parker also introduced a bill that seeks to establish a three-year moratorium on any bitcoin mining operations in the state. The Committee on Environmental Conservation reviewed the bill on May 3.

The bill declared that cryptocurrency miners should be responsible for the environmental impacts the industry might cause the state. Senator Parker insists cryptocurrency mining has a negative environmental impact and mining businesses would have to pass state greenhouse gas emission targets in order to continue.

What do you think about the issues bitcoin miners are having in Massena, New York? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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