Three North Tonawanda residents and the Sierra Club filed suit Monday, attempting to overturn the city Planning Commission's approval of a bitcoin mining project.
Digihost, a Canadian company now operating in Buffalo, has an agreement to buy the Fortistar natural gas-burning power plant on Erie Avenue in North Tonawanda, although the state Public Service Commission has not yet approved the deal.
On Sept. 7, the planners allowed Digihost to install 14 concrete pads on the plant's lawn, with two shipping containers on each.
Those would contain powerful computers, to be powered by the electricity generated in the plant, to perform the complex calculations needed for investments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court, Niagara County, contends that the board didn't carry out a detailed enough environmental review, and that the project should have been rejected because the city zoning ordinance doesn't say bitcoin mining is specifically allowed. Also, the suit contends the proposal contradicts the state's green energy goals.