Crypto mining is too loud for these American counties

North Carolina counties look to place moratoriums on crypto miners, while Arkansas counties implement noise ordinances

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Some counties in the US state of Arkansas want to enforce noise regulations on crypto miners, just months after Arkansas passed a bill legalizing mining. 

The state legislators passed the Arkansas Data Centers Act of 2023 in April. The bill seeks to protect miners and label them as data centers to “clarify the guidelines needed to protect data asset miners from discriminatory industry-specific regulations and taxes.”

The passing of the legislation was labeled as a “surprise victory” at the time, and now some local politicians are seeking to ensure that restrictions are put in place before the new law takes effect on Aug. 1. 

According to the bill, local governments shall not “enact or adopt an ordinance, policy, or action that limits 5 the sound decibels generated from home digital asset mining other than the 6 limits set for sound pollution generally.”

Read more: In US crypto mining regulation, where do the states stand?

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that the Association of Arkansas Counties distributed a “model ordinance” to counties back in June, and counties have since passed noise ordinances based on it. 

It also reported that the bill’s author, Republican Rep. Rick McClure, said in a statement that “no one spoke against this bill in committees or on the legislative floors” while also noting that “there have been several reported situations of problems with noise generated by digital asset miners.”

McClure did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Earlier this month, Republican Senator Bryan King said he would move to repeal the bill, claiming it was passed at the end of the 2023 legislative session. According to local media reports, he also expressed concern about the bill itself.

Arkansas isn’t the only state looking to curtail noise from mining facilities. 

A county in North Carolina enacted a cryptocurrency mining moratorium back in May, and local leaders voted to extend the moratorium into July of next year earlier this month. Buncombe County, North Carolina also passed a one-year moratorium back in May. 

Elsewhere, Pennsylvania’s state legislators are mulling over a bill that would place a moratorium on crypto mining. House Bill 1476, which was introduced on June 21, claims that the moratorium is designed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

“Unchecked cryptocurrency mining in this Commonwealth will prevent this Commonwealth from reaching its stated greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals,” it states.

It’s unclear whether or when the bill will move forward.

Massena, New York also agreed to extend its moratorium on crypto mining until Dec. 31, according to a local news report. Last year, New York enacted a two-year ban on some crypto mining operations. 

Updated July 24, 2023 at 4:35 pm ET: Added Massena, New York’s crypto mining moratorium.


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