In a rush to take control of noise and activities related to crypto mining, several counties in Arkansas are pushing through emergency legislation before a state law comes into effect on August 1, as reported by local media outlets.
The upcoming state law is set to bring crypto mining facilities under the same regulations applied to data centers, providing clear guidelines for miners and safeguarding them from discriminatory regulations and taxes.
However, the residents of Arkansas hardly had any time to discuss the new legislation, which was swiftly proposed, debated in committees, and approved by legislators within a mere week, spanning from March 30 to April 7.
State Rep. Rick McClure, the bill’s author, reportedly stated that no opposition was voiced during the committee discussions or legislative sessions. Some of the crypto mining companies in Arkansas include Green Digital, GMI Computing, United BitEngine, and Cryptic Farms.
After the bill’s passage, the Association of Arkansas Counties developed a model ordinance that counties can implement before the new law takes effect. Since June, more than a dozen counties have reportedly approved noise ordinances specifically targeting data centers.
Justice of the Peace Maree Coats highlighted the severity of the noise problem, stating, “It’s not just about people being unable to enjoy a peaceful time on their front or back porch. These individuals can hear this incessant sound 24/7, even from inside their bedrooms.”
Although the new legislation does not entirely ban county regulations, it does forbid local governments from discriminating against crypto-mining facilities or imposing overly restrictive decibel limits “beyond the thresholds set for sound pollution generally.”
As August 1 draws closer, the counties of Arkansas are grappling with the task of striking a balance between accommodating crypto-mining operations and preserving the tranquility of their communities.