US Bitcoin reaches tentative settlement to reopen Niagara Falls mining facility

After a lengthy legal tussle, the company will have to pay various fees and fines and take extensive noise control measures.

Crypto miner US Bitcoin Corp has come to a tentative agreement with the City of Niagara Falls that will allow it to reopen its mining operation in that city, according to a local news report. A state supreme court judge ordered its plant closed in early March. The settlement still requires the approval of the city council.

State Supreme Court Justice Edward Pace ordered the plant’s closing after “weeks of contentious negotiations” between the city and US Bitcoin on the wording of the order. The order enforced a ruling another state supreme court judge to cease operations while the city sought an injunction to enforce new city ordinances affecting the plant.

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Pace found US Bitcoin in contempt of court for ignoring the initial order and imposed fines retroactively to Dec. 9, when it was initially ordered to close. Those fines will total over $1 million, according to the report.

Now the company will have to pay $150,000 in fees to the city, $180,000 to reimburse legal costs and new application fees. In addition, US Bitcoin will have to take measures to reduce noise at the plant, including building a noise-dampening wall and submitting to third-party monitoring.

US Bitcoin is in the process of merging with Canadian miner Hut 8 in a deal announced in February. It also has facilities in Texas and Nebraska. According to its website, US Bitcoin uses approximately 90% “zero-emissions electricity” at its New York plant.

The state of New York imposed a two-year moratorium on new proof-of-work mining operations and licensing renewals for existing ones, unless they operate on 100% renewable energy. The state’s attorney general issued an investor alert warning of the risks of cryptocurrency investing in June.

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