- The city of Niagra Falls filed a lawsuit against three crypto firms for their mining operations.
- Earlier in November, complaints were also raised by the people of falls city.
December 6, 2022
The city of Niagara Falls has filed a lawsuit in the state supreme court to shut down three cryptocurrency mining operations there “unless and until” they abide by a recent set of zoning code amendments that control where and how high-energy use businesses like data centers and mining facilities can be located and run.
The summons and complaint allege “ongoing violations” of the city’s zoning code on the part of U.S. Data Technologies Group Ltd., U.S. Data Mining Group Inc, doing business as U.S. Bitcoin, and 2747 Buffalo Avenue LLC, as well as the creation of a “public nuisance” as a result of those violations.
The Falls City Council gave the go-ahead for the legal action during a meeting on November 2. On Nov. 16, the lawsuit was submitted.
Mayor Robert Restaino stated that “the city has worked to create a path forward for cryptocurrency and data centers” in a letter to the council requesting permission to file the lawsuit. Restaino claimed that “a number of companies, which have never been in compliance, are operating in violation of long-standing zoning and building codes and creating potentially hazardous public nuisances.”
The city’s Department of Code Enforcement had sent letters to all three crypto-mining businesses in November and December 2021 informing them that they were in violation of the city’s zoning and building codes and requesting that they “cease and desist” their operations until they were compliant.
The new high-energy use zoning code amendments were approved by the council on September 8 in a 4-1 vote, with Council Member Donta Myles voting against them.
The Niagara Falls and Niagara County planning boards had both approved and recommended the council adopt the zoning code revisions.
To demand action on what they termed as unacceptable noise, city residents who live close to the three crypto-mining enterprises gathered to a public hearing on the Zoning Code revisions.
Rick Pfeiffer -, Niagara Gazette, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Tue, December 6, 2022 at 5:54 PM·3 min read
Dec. 6—Attorneys for the city of Niagara Falls have filed an action in State Supreme Court seeking to shutdown three cryptocurrency mining operations in the city “unless and until” they comply with a recently enacted series of amendments to the city’s Zoning Code that govern the location and operation of high-energy use industries such as data centers and crypto-mining facilities.
The summons and complaint charges U.S. Data Technologies Group Ltd., U.S. Data Mining Group Inc, doing business as U.S. Bitcoin and 2747 Buffalo Avenue LLC, with engaging in “ongoing violations” of the city’s Zoning Code and creating a “public nuisance” as a result of those violations.
The legal action was authorized by the Falls City Council at a meeting Nov. 2. The lawsuit was filed on Nov. 16.
In a letter to the council seeking to file the suit, Mayor Robert Restaino wrote that “the city has worked to create a path forward for cryptocurrency and data centers.” However, Restaino wrote, “several companies, which have never been in compliance, are operating in violation of long-standing zoning and building codes and creating potentially dangerous public nuisances.”
All three crypto-mining companies had received letters, in November and December 2021, from the city’s Department of Code Enforcement, advising them that they were in violation of the city’s Zoning and Building codes and demanding that they “cease and desist” their operations until they were in compliance.
On Sept. 8, the council, on a 4-1 vote with Council Member Donta Myles opposed, approved the new high-energy use amendments to the Zoning Code.
The zoning code amendments had been approved and recommended to the council by both the Niagara Falls and Niagara County planning boards.
City residents living near the three crypto-mining operations have flocked to a public hearing on the Zoning Code amendments to demand action on what they described as unreasonable noise.
“At the beginning of the year my home was invaded, by noise. It has changed my life. It is constant, 24 hours a day,” said Bryan Maacks, who lives near the U.S. Bitcoin facility inside what had been an abandoned industrial plant on Buffalo Avenue. “I’m here for myself and my mental health.”
Two to three other cryptocurrency facilities are apparently looking to set up shop here, in addition to the three bitcoin mining businesses that are the target of the legal action.
The lawsuit is being handled by the city’s outside zoning attorneys, Edward Perlman of Magavern Magavern Grim LLP and Dan Spitzer and Joel Terragnoli of Hodgson Russ LLP. Although Spitzer has previously stated the city’s view on the location of high-energy usage enterprises, none of the attorneys would comment on the lawsuit.
“Cryptocurrency mining and data centers are currently illegal in the city,” Spitzer has said. “But we are working with the industry to establish (rules) that would allow them.”
Data centres and bitcoin mining activities must only be located in areas that are classified for industrial purposes, according to the new Zoning Code revisions. The changes also include new limits that demand for greater set-backs of the high energy usage facilities from their neighbours, acting as a “overlay” to the city’s existing industrial zoning regulations.
The adjustments place severe restrictions on the amount of noise produced by the high energy usage procedures.
The three operators cited in the lawsuit were previously petitioned to have their facilities exempted from the new Zoning Code restrictions by their representatives. Who will represent the cryptocurrency mining companies in the legal action is not yet known.