SCHUYLER COUNTY– The Schuyler County Legislature passed a resolution Monday, May 10 asking New York state to devise regulations regarding the operation of cryptocurrency mining operations. The resolution, which was previously tabled, was brought back by legislator Mark Rondinaro with minor adjustments as recommended by Watkins Glen. “This reflects changes that Watkins Glen wanted,” as there is concern amongst village officials that a cryptocurrency mining operation could increase electricity rates for all residents, said Rondinaro. Rondinaro had previously tabled the resolution so that he could get input from Watkins Glen officials and discuss the resolution with members of the Yates County Legislature, some of whom he had said were opposed to the resolution. The resolution states, “Cryptocurrency mining servers are different than standard data processing servers — they are highly energy consumptive and have only one primarily task: to mine cryptocurrencies…the Schuyler County legislature asks the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to study and develop regulations for cryptocurrency mining operations having peak power demand of more than 50 kilowatts, and … calls upon the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Legislature to mandate that all cryptocurrency mining operations permitted within the boundaries of New York State operate solely on renewable energy — i.e. wind, solar, geothermal or hydropower.” County Administrator Tim O’Hearn then gave an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the county. 42 percent of adult residents in Schuyler have been vaccinated with at least one shot and 38 percent fully. “We are remaining aggressive with the vaccine,” O’Hearn said. In an effort to vaccinate as many people as possible, O’Hearn said he is thinking about the possibility of partnering with local breweries and wineries to hold vaccine clinics. As the age range of children eligible for the vaccine gets lowered, O’Hearn mentioned the county is working with school districts to set up vaccine clinics. After the success of a recent clinic in Tyrone, O’Hearn said more pop-up clinics are being planned. The legislature also voted to allow 12 and 13-year-olds who are licensed to hunt the ability to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow during the hunting season with the supervision of a licensed adult.
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