Bitcoin mining is not just about energy consumption. In Niagara Falls, it’s the noise of the machines that is causing concern. Residents of this American city are blaming the noise pollution from the mining farms. The local authorities have even taken drastic measures such as closing them down. One of the lands suitable for mining is indeed about to turn into a nightmare for miners.
Niagara Falls residents can’t take it anymore
Thanks to Niagara Falls, clean energy is abundant in upstate New York. This attracts cryptocurrency miners looking for sufficient and cheap energy. About 20 percent of the cryptocurrency mining done in the U.S. takes place in the state. But these operators are facing the wrath of residents.
In the city of Niagara Falls, residents are particularly blasting the noise made by the mining machines. While they were used to listening to the soothing hum of Niagara Falls, they now have to coexist with “unbearable noise”.
When we were sitting in our backyard, we could hear the sounds of Niagara Falls in the distance every night. Now you can’t hear them at all and you can hear the sound of Bitcoin mining.Frank Pellerle, a resident of Nigara Falls
The noise annoys many city residents, especially those who live closer to the mining farms. This is the case of Bryan Maacks who says he has to wear headphones at all times at home and use a fan to neutralize the sound and manage to fall asleep.
The 65-year-old has decided to go to war against this “crazy noise”. Bryan has launched a petition against the noise pollution caused by Bitcoin mining. He has also taken on US Bitcoin, the mining farm closest to him that bothers him too much. He made a sign on which he wrote: “US BITCOIN STOP NOISE”. He then stuck the sign on his car and parked it in front of the company for several weeks.
Bryan Maacks‘ fight seems to have been heard by local authorities. The Mayor of the City of Niagara Falls has taken action.
Noise limits, mining farm closures and threats of litigation
Robert Restaino, the mayor of the city of Niagara Falls, was not indifferent to the complaints of his constituents. In December 2021, City Hall placed a moratorium on all new mining activity. In early September this year, the city’s mayor imposed noise limits on Bitcoin miners. Businesses are now required not to exceed 40 to 50 decibels near a residential area.
Alas, this seems to have fallen short of residents’ expectations, and the mayor has moved on to stronger measures. In October 2022, he ordered the closure of two mining farms for noise pollution.
Blockfusion and US Bitcoin, which set up shop in the city in 2019 and 2020 respectively, are expected to resume operations only after taking steps to reduce the noise from their machines.
Following the city council’s decision, Blockfusion turned off its processors in late October and reduced the number of machines in operation. US Bitcoin, on the other hand, still refuses to turn off its machines. This irritated the mayor of the city of Niagara Falls, who threatened to sue US Bitcoin.
If US Bitcoin continues to refuse to comply with our closure order, then we will have to go to court.Robert Restaino, Mayor of Niagara Falls
Towards a noise barrier to reduce noise pollution
Faced with the anger of local residents, mining companies in the city of Niagara Falls have taken certain measures. US Bitcoin, which refuses to close its farms despite the request of the city’s mayor, says it has put up a plastic barrier to reduce the noise from its machines.
The company plans to build a more compact and effective noise barrier. Unfortunately, the construction work has been halted following the city’s mayor’s moratorium, according to US Bitcoin.
As soon as we became aware of these concerns, we erected a plastic barrier. We had plans for a noise barrier that was prevented by the moratorium.US Bitcoin
Noise walls are becoming a popular practice in New York State, where mining operators are facing complaints from local residents about noise pollution. In nearby North Tonawanda, Canadian mining company Digihost is building a soundproofing wall more than 20 feet high.
Bitcoin miners are currently facing enormous difficulties. The crypto winter is bringing mining activities to a halt and regulatory insecurity is still worrying the mining players. In addition, miners are facing rising energy costs. The protests of the local residents are thus added to this long list…
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