Before August, when cryptocurrency mining facilities will be subject to the same regulations as data centers, a number of counties in the American state of Arkansas are rushing to approve new ordinances.
Several counties in Arkansas are in a race to approve emergency legislation before a new state law giving them power over noise and activity linked to cryptocurrency mining takes effect on August 1st. According to local media sources, the next state law would treat cryptocurrency mining operations like data centers and will offer miners guidance and protections against unfair laws and taxes. Although the legislation was quickly prepared, reviewed, and passed in a week from March 30th to April 7th, citizens hardly had time to discuss it.
The bill’s author, state representative Rick McClure, said there was no resistance to the measure during committee or parliamentary sessions. Companies that mine cryptocurrency in Arkansas include Green Digital, GMI Computing, United BitEngine, and Cryptic Farms.
More regulations are being implemented by local authorities in response to complaints about 24/7 noise pollution. During a meeting in July, Kris Kendrick, justice of the peace on the Faulkner County Quorum Court, raised worry about noise levels and the disregard for neighbors. The Association of Arkansas Counties has created a model ordinance that counties can pass prior to the law’s implementation as a result. Since June, noise regulations directed at data centers have been adopted in more than a dozen counties.
Maree Coats, Justice of the Peace, stressed that the problem goes beyond just being able to spend time outside, saying that homeowners can constantly hear the noise from crypto mining operations even from their bedrooms.
The new law forbids local governments from discriminating against crypto mining facilities or imposing arbitrary decibel limitations other than those established for general sound pollution, even though it does not completely forbid county rules. Moreover, counties are prohibited from rezoning land in a way that discriminates against cryptocurrency mining operations. Counties are acting quickly to impose their authority over crypto mining activity and address community concerns as the time runs out.