EPA addresses crypto-to-coal trend. A number of initiatives were taken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week. To decrease the environmental impact of bitcoin miners. On the surface, the Environmental Protection Agency’s actions had nothing to do with Bitcoin. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied petitions. By current and former coal-fired power plants to continue using waste disposal site. That had previously been contaminated with hazardous slurry produced by coal power. Also known as coal ash, by the federal government.
In addition to serving as energy sources, the Sioux Energy Center in West Alton, Missouri. And the Greenidge Coal Ash Pond in Dresden, New York. Both are located at power plant sites that serve a variety of other purposes. As a result of their production, the plants have utilized to generate cryptocurrency. Which is a growing collection of decentralized digital currencies. That are becoming increasingly popular in the age of the Internet.
The agency is getting increasingly interested as more cryptocurrency mining organizations. Study the prospect of using old coal plants to generate energy. As a source of electricity for their operations. However, a coal plant belonging to the family of Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) examined the request. Which ultimately rejected earlier this month by the state’s public utilities commission.
Proponents of this industry trend believe that bitcoin mining. The most well-known form of cryptocurrency — can assist in ensuring. That backup power generation is available to consumers by profitably keeping some plants online. At a time when grid reliability is becoming a greater concern in communities across the United States.
Environmentalists are worried about the bitcoin industry’s high energy consumption
Environmental advocates, on the other hand, are concerned. About the high energy requirements of the cryptocurrency industry. And they claim that the actions taken by the Environmental Protection Agency. Demonstrate a novel way for the agency to constrain Bitcoin’s environmental impacts. In ways that fall outside the purview of financial regulators.
“The Environmental Protection Agency is not a cryptocurrency regulator. It is a regulator of air pollutants. “It appears that they are leveraging those rules. To gain access to information that the financial authorities are unable to obtain.” Said Todd Phillips, director of financial regulation and corporate governance. At the Center for American Progress.
Founded in 2014 with funding from a private equity firm, Greenidge Generation Holdings. It is the company that owns the former coal-fired power plant in Dresden, New York. The plant has converted to run on natural gas and is mostly used for bitcoin mining. With a little amount of electricity sent to the local electric grid.
Ameren The Sioux Energy Center, located in Missouri, is a coal-fired power station. That first began operations in 1967 and slated to close in 2028. A trial bitcoin mining project at the plant announced by the corporation in April. And it has been operational since then. According to a corporate official, the pilot project completed in October, as per the company’s website.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied extensions to plants. To continue running coal ash ponds on their premises past a mandatory deadline. In two separate proceedings last week. The Environmental Protection Agency determined that Greenidge was ineligible. For an exemption because it no longer relies on coal for electricity.
The EPA addresses also the extension
To qualify for an extension, EPA said the plants’ respective grid operators. Must establish that shutting down will impact system reliability.
For its part, the EPA wants both corporations to show that their coal ash ponds. Which re no longer receiving garbage within 135 days. They’d have to start closing garbage sites immediately after that deadline.
Phillips said EPA showed the bitcoin business has more environmental concerns. Than just carbon emissions, which have been the main target of critics.
“I never considered what they’d do with the pollutants once these new power plants began up,” Phillips added. “We’ll all have to sort it out.”
Additionally, EPA’s actions seen as its first statements on cryptocurrency’s environmental consequences.
According to an E&E News website analysis, EPA has not released. Any news releases or agency statements on cryptocurrency until last week.
This includes a 2019 study that also looked at ways to measure the financial. And environmental harm caused by mining bitcoins and other cryptos.
But, according to Judith Enck, former administrator of EPA Region 2. The actions on the coal ash ponds appear to be the first time the EPA. Has addressed individual bitcoin miners’ environmental responsibility.
Enck said the public already knows how the EPA would also approach the coal-to-bitcoin trend.