New York State Continues to Slow Down Accelerating Crypto Mining Industry Growth Upstate

Just weeks after both houses of the New York State legislature finally passed an environmental-conservation moratorium on new cryptocurrency mining operations (as previously reported by ELM here: New York is Ready to Attack Crypto Mining), the Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) announced its long-awaited decision concerning the air permit renewal application by a former coal-fired plant near Seneca Lake. The facility, purchased and refurbished by Greenidge Generation to run an extensive crypto mining business, has been dependent on roughly 17,000 servers. As previously addressed …

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New York is Ready to Attack Crypto Mining

On June 3, 2022, the New York State Senate passed the first bill in the country that bans certain cryptocurrency (crypto) mining operations. This bill, passed by the New York State Assembly in April 2022, now goes to Governor Kathy Hochul for her signature. The bill imposes a two-year moratorium on crypto mining operations that “require proof-of-work authentication methods to validate block chain transaction.” The bill would also require the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to prepare a “generic” environmental impact statement on cryptocurrency mining operations using proof-of-work authentication …

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Long Island Water Districts Settle Claims Arising from Alleged 1,4-Dioxane Contamination

You may have read about the slew of lawsuits filed over the past few years by Long Island water districts seeking to recover damages arising from alleged contamination of drinking water supplies by 1,4-dioxane. Our blog has covered them here, here, here, and here.

There is news on the settlement front. One of the primary defendants and the U.S. government have agreed to resolutions in two cases: Bethpage (in the amount of $49 million) and South Farmingdale (in the amount of …

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Smaller NY Water Systems No Longer Exempt: Adoption of Emerging Contaminants List Yields Expected Testing of PFAS

On December 23, 2021, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a new amendment to the public health law that will create New York’s first emerging contaminants list, and expand the number of chemicals to be included—many of which are per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS). Some say this new law establishes New York as perhaps the strictest jurisdiction in the U.S. with respect to testing drinking water for PFAS. Under the new legislation, titled “An act to amend the public health law, in relation to establishing …

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New York’s Statewide Ban on “Styrofoam” Starts January 1, 2022

Earlier this year the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) published proposed regulations relating to a statewide ban on the use of polystyrene foam (commonly known as Styrofoam) containers and loose fill packaging. With the comment period now closed, the polystyrene foam ban is set to go into effect on January 1, 2022.  

The ban will prohibit any person engaged in the business of selling or distributing prepared food or beverages for on- or off-site consumption from selling, offering for sale, or …

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The Green Bank—Part of New York’s Mission to Become a National Leader in Clean Energy

In 2013, New York State set course to become a national leader in clean energy. Later declaring a mission to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030, New York developed an aggressive and robust plan to radically change energy production, transportation, and consumption in the state. New York dedicated itself to upgrading its energy infrastructure, promoting renewable energy portfolios to consumers, and most importantly investing in large scale-renewable projects.

Though not an invention of New York, a unique piece of its clean energy plan was …

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NY Navigation Law Alert: Appellate Division Reaffirms “Method of Delivery” is Key for Strict Liability in Oil Spill Case

In the recently-decided Scott v. Triborough Energy Corp., NY Slip Op 03126 (May 13, 2021), the First Department considered a case where the defendant—the plaintiff’s residential heating oil supplier—allegedly caused oil to leak into the plaintiff’s basement while delivering to their home. The plaintiffs sued under Navigation Law § 181(5) (NL), which permits private causes of action in strict liability against a petroleum discharger, as long as the plaintiffs have “not caused or contributed to (and thus are not ‘responsible for’) the discharge. See

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New York Becomes Second State to Ban Plastic Toiletry Bottles in Hotels—the Latest Subject of Single-Use Plastics Bans

In April, New York became the second state to pass a law prohibiting hotels from offering their guests personal care products in single-use plastic bottles. Set to go into effect on January 1, 2024 for hotels with 50 rooms or more and January 1, 2025 for hotels with less than 50 rooms, the law, which is included in New York’s Environmental Conservation Law, restricts “hotels from making available to hotel guests small plastic bottle hospitality personal care products.” The legislation defines “small plastic bottle” as …

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Offshore Wind Alert: New York Bight—The Next Major Wind Farm?

On March 29, 2021, the Biden administration announced a plan to expand offshore wind power along the East Coast. One area that may be part of such expansion is the New York Bight, which is a geological area that describes a swath of shallow waters along the Atlantic coast, spanning from the Cape May Inlet in New Jersey to Montauk Point at the eastern tip of Long Island. It is also the area subject to a potential offshore wind zone that the administration hopes can produce 30,000 megawatts (30 gigawatts) of power from wind turbines by 2030. 

To “advance domestic energy production, generate revenue, and increase …

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New York Takes Next Step in Nation-Leading Offshore Wind Efforts

The deadline for submitting proposals in response to New York’s second solicitation for offshore wind procurement recently expired, with three companies in the running to land contracts, including Vineyard Wind, Equinor Wind, and Bay State Wind (a joint venture of Ørsted A/S and Eversource Energy). Each submitted proposals in response to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s July 21, 2020, solicitation for 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind energy. These proposals followed along the heels of the state’s 2018 solicitation for 1,700 megawatts of offshore wind, which …

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