Bill Text: NY S06486 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Amended

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Establishes a moratorium on consolidated operations that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions; provides that such operations shall be subject to a full generic environmental impact statement review.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 7-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2021-06-08 - referred to environmental conservation [S06486 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-S06486-Amended.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                         6486--A

                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                       May 3, 2021
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  Sens.  PARKER,  MAY, BRISPORT, KRUEGER, RYAN, SKOUFIS --
          read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to
          the  Committee  on Environmental Conservation -- committee discharged,
          bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended  and  recommitted  to  said
          committee

        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  environmental  conservation law, in relation to
          establishing a moratorium on the operation  of  cryptocurrency  mining
          centers;  and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expira-
          tion thereof

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.    Legislative  findings. The legislature hereby finds and
     2  declares that:
     3    (a) Climate change threatens the health, welfare, and economy  of  the
     4  state with increasingly severe and widespread impacts to our communities
     5  due  to  flooding,  sea level rise, heat waves, coastal erosion, erratic
     6  and unpredictable weather patterns, shifting climactic  zones,  loss  of
     7  wildlife,  increased  harmful  algal  blooms  and  invasive species, and
     8  increased risk of disease, in part, which  leads  directly  to  loss  of
     9  life,  property  damage  and  reduction in value, ecological damage, and
    10  increased infrastructure costs;
    11    (b) It is the policy of the State of New York to conserve, improve and
    12  protect its natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate  and
    13  control  water,  land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health,
    14  safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic
    15  and social well-being;
    16    (c) To mitigate the current and future effects of climate change,  the
    17  State  of  New  York  implemented  the  Climate Leadership and Community
    18  Protection Act, requiring that statewide  greenhouse  gas  emissions  be
    19  reduced  eighty-five  percent  by  2050  and that the state has net zero
    20  emissions in all sectors of the economy by that time;

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD11081-06-1

        S. 6486--A                          2

     1    (d) Cryptocurrency mining centers are an  expanding  industry  in  the
     2  State  of  New  York,  often, but not exclusively, located in retired or
     3  converted fossil fuel power stations, including dormant peaker plants;
     4    (e) A single cryptocurrency transaction uses the same amount of energy
     5  that  an average American household uses in one month, with an estimated
     6  level of global energy usage equivalent to that of the country of  Swed-
     7  en; and
     8    (f)  The  continued  and  expanded  operation of cryptocurrency mining
     9  centers will greatly increase the amount of energy usage in the State of
    10  New York, and it is reasonable to believe the associated greenhouse  gas
    11  emissions  will  irreparably harm compliance with the Climate Leadership
    12  and Community Protection Act in contravention of state law.
    13    § 2. The environmental conservation law is amended  by  adding  a  new
    14  article 77 to read as follows:
    15                                  ARTICLE 77
    16                            CRYPTOCURRENCY MINING
    17  Section 77-0101. Definitions.
    18          77-0103. Registration.
    19          77-0105. Moratorium on permit issuance and renewal.
    20          77-0107. Generic environmental impact statement.
    21          77-0109. Enforcement and penalties.
    22  § 77-0101. Definitions.
    23    1.  "Behind-the-meter"  means a generating unit that supplies electric
    24  energy, in whole or in part, to an end user onsite without connecting to
    25  the bulk power system or local  electric  distribution  facilities,  and
    26  includes  a generating unit that supplies electric energy to both an end
    27  user onsite and the bulk power systems or  local  electric  distribution
    28  facilities.
    29    2. "Carbon-based fuel" means coal, natural gas, renewable natural gas,
    30  biomass,  petroleum  products,  and  any other product that emits carbon
    31  dioxide,  methane,  nitrous  oxide,  or  other  greenhouse  gases   when
    32  combusted,  and that is used for fuel for the purpose of producing elec-
    33  tric energy.
    34    3. "Cryptocurrency" shall mean a digital currency in which  encryption
    35  techniques are used to regulate the generation of units and currency and
    36  verify  the  transfer  of  funds, operating independently from a central
    37  bank.
    38    4. "Mining" shall mean the process of spending computer power to proc-
    39  ess transactions and such transactions to a cryptocurrency blockchain.
    40    5. "Blockchain" shall mean a digital ledger in which transactions made
    41  in cryptocurrencies are recorded chronologically and publicly.
    42  § 77-0103. Registration.
    43    1. The owner or operator of a cryptocurrency mining  operation  shall,
    44  on  or  before  the first day of July, two thousand twenty-two, register
    45  with the department.
    46    2. Registration shall be in a form determined by  the  department  and
    47  shall include, at a minimum:
    48    a. the name and address of the owner or operator of the cryptocurrency
    49  mining operation;
    50    b. the location and address of the cryptocurrency mining operation;
    51    c.  for the twelve months immediately preceding the registration date,
    52  the weekly amount of electric energy consumed or utilized by the  opera-
    53  tion; and
    54    d.   for  cryptocurrency  mining  operations  consuming  or  utilizing
    55  behind-the-meter electric energy, the name and address  of  the  behind-
    56  the-meter  energy  source; the name and address of the source's owner or

        S. 6486--A                          3

     1  operator; the source's nameplate electric generating capacity;  and  the
     2  fuel type used by the source to generate electricity.
     3  § 77-0105. Moratorium on permit issuance and renewal.
     4    1. For the period commencing on the effective date of this article and
     5  ending  three  years  after the effective date, the department shall not
     6  approve a new application for or issue a new permit pursuant to  article
     7  nineteen  of  this  chapter  for  an  electric  generating facility that
     8  utilizes a carbon-based fuel and that provides, in  whole  or  in  part,
     9  behind-the-meter electric energy consumed or utilized by a cryptocurren-
    10  cy mining operation.
    11    2. For the period commencing on the effective date of this article and
    12  ending  three  years  after the effective date, the department shall not
    13  approve an application to renew an existing permit or  issue  a  renewal
    14  permit  pursuant  to  article  nineteen  of this chapter for an electric
    15  generating facility that utilizes a carbon-based fuel and that provides,
    16  in whole or  in  part,  behind-the-meter  electric  energy  consumed  or
    17  utilized by a cryptocurrency mining operation if the renewal application
    18  seeks  to  increase or will allow or result in an increase in the amount
    19  of electric energy consumed or utilized by  such  cryptocurrency  mining
    20  operation.
    21  § 77-0107. Generic environmental impact statement.
    22    1.  The  department  shall  prepare, pursuant to article eight of this
    23  chapter, a generic environmental impact statement on  statewide  crypto-
    24  currency mining operations.
    25    2.  The  generic  environmental  impact  statement shall address, at a
    26  minimum:
    27    a. the number and location of  existing  cryptocurrency  mining  oper-
    28  ations in the state;
    29    b. the amount of electric energy consumed by each such operation;
    30    c.  the sources of electric energy consumed by each such operation and
    31  the type of fuel used by each energy source;
    32    d. the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and  co-pollutants  released
    33  by each energy source attributable to providing electric energy to cryp-
    34  tocurrency mining operations;
    35    e.  the  anticipated  increase, if any, of cryptocurrency mining oper-
    36  ations in the state and the anticipated expansion, if any,  of  existing
    37  operations;
    38    f.  the potential impacts of electric energy consumption by cryptocur-
    39  rency mining operations on the state's ability to  meet  the  greenhouse
    40  gas  emission  reduction goals set forth in article seventy-five of this
    41  chapter;
    42    g. the water quality and other ecological impacts, if any, of  cooling
    43  water  use by cryptocurrency mining operations; and
    44    h.  the  social and economic costs and benefits, if any, of cryptocur-
    45  rency mining operations.
    46    3. The draft generic environmental impact statement shall  be  subject
    47  to  no less than one hundred twenty days of public comment from the date
    48  of issuance. The department shall conduct at least one public hearing on
    49  the draft environmental  impact  statement  in  each  of  the  following
    50  regions  of  the state: western New York, the finger lakes, the southern
    51  tier, central New York, the Mohawk valley, the north country, the  capi-
    52  tal  region/Hudson  valley,  and  the  City  of New York/Long Island, as
    53  defined by the empire state development corporation.
    54    4. The department shall issue a  final  generic  environmental  impact
    55  statement  after  close of the public comment and public hearing period,

        S. 6486--A                          4

     1  and such final generic environmental impact statement shall be issued on
     2  or before the first day of September, two thousand twenty-three.
     3  § 77-0109. Enforcement and penalties.
     4    The  department  may enforce the provisions of this article, including
     5  referral to the attorney general for the purpose of  seeking  injunctive
     6  relief restraining the operation of a cryptocurrency mining operation or
     7  electric  generating  facility  not in compliance with the provisions of
     8  this article and civil penalties therefor as provided in  title  twenty-
     9  one of article seventy-one of this chapter.
    10    §  3.  This  act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be
    11  deemed repealed three years after such date.
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