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Pennsylvania state, mining company sued for environmental pollution

This lawsuit can lead to taking the company to court and imposing financial penalties or an obligation to repair the environmental damage caused.

Date: 2024-03-27 Author: Łukasz Michałek
Pennsylvania state, mining company sued for environmental pollution

On Tuesday, an environmental NGO from the state of Pennsylvania – Save Carbon County – filed a lawsuit in state court, accusing Stronghold Digital Mining. According to reports, the company burns waste coal and its layers to produce energy for cryptocurrency mining operations.

According to the complaint, the Stronghold mine, located in northeastern Pennsylvania , caused sufficient environmental damage by performing energy-intensive work in Bitcoin mining.

As reported by Reuters, the lawsuit also names the state of Pennsylvania as a defendant.

“This is the first time a state has been sued for violating a constitutional provision guaranteeing citizens’ right to a clean environment by allowing cryptocurrency digging,” NGO lawyer Aaron Freiwald said on Tuesday.

Stronghold Digital Mining allegedly emits six million tons of carbon dioxide annually. The environmental group said that despite this, Pennsylvania has not banned cryptocurrency mining or recommended less energy-intensive methods.

Save Carbon County accused Stronghold of public disorder, public liability and negligence. The group is seeking damages from the company for environmental damage and for its share of pollution associated with cryptocurrency mining.

The spokesman stressed that the company is also cleaning up the surrounding land and water.

“The company’s infrastructure has cleaned up millions of tons of coal waste and reclaimed more than 1,050 acres of once-destroyed land, which now includes parks, sports fields and fishing spots for local communities.”

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From tire burning to a greener world

In 2021, Stronghold Digital Mining Inc. acquired Panther Creek to generate cryptocurrency. To date, the site has received at least seven violations related to unacceptable air pollution from the Department of Environmental Protection.

In addition to transporting carbon waste from several locations, Stronghold has begun burning tires to power its energy mix. Russell Zerbo, federal outreach coordinator for the Penn State Clean Air Council, told Cryptonews that tire burning causes a lot of harmful air pollution.

“Tire burning would increase polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) pollution from the Panther Creek plant in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania. PAH pollution contains many carcinogens.”

In addition, Zerbo noted that there are no preventive methods that can be used to conduct sustainable mining.

“Cryptocurrency mining is a total waste of electricity, there are no sustainable ways to do it,” he said. In addition, Lena Klaaßen, co-founder of the Crypto Carbon Ratings Institute (CCRI), says there should be more clarity on the energy sources used for Bitcoin mining.

She informed Cryptonews that entities storing Bitcoins for transactions on the chain are responsible for Bitcoin-related emissions under Scope 3 emissions, the value chain.

Bitcoin is based on the Proof of Work consensus mechanism, in which energy consumption is inherent. Decarbonizing the industry should be a priority in light of the looming climate crisis.

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Łukasz Michałek
Łukasz Michałek
Founder of the rapidly developing cryptocurrency channel "Biblia Kryptowalut" on YouTube. He also co-creates the Arena Trading group with Marek. Łukasz is fascinated and passionate about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, which constitute the central element of his activity in the cryptocurrency industry.
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