An Arkansas County crypto mine that locals branded noisy and a threat to national security has won a legal battle that means it will be immune from police action even if it breaches recently imposed noise limits.
Residents of DeWitt, Arkansas repeatedly complained about the noise from the Jones Digital LLC crypto mine and voiced concerns about its environmental impact. A petition created by locals also described it as “another unwelcome communist Chinese crypto mining site.”
Arkansas County Quorum Court introduced new noise limits on October 10, replacing those previously enacted in July. Counties across Arkansas had rushed to introduce new noise limits before August 1, the day Act 851 was introduced prohibiting any “discrimination” against data centers and crypto miners.
However, as reported by Arkansas Business, today’s ruling granted Jones Digital a preliminary injunction stopping any Arkansas sheriff, judge, prosecutor, “and all acting in concert with them,” from enforcing the new noise limits.
Lawyers representing Jones Digital argued the new limits were discriminatory and violated Act 851. Jones Digital is also said to be willing to follow the noise limits set in July. District Judge Lee P. Rudofsky ruled in its favor and concluded that the noise limits introduced on October 10 breached state law.
Jones Digital lawyers said, “Our client hoped to avoid litigation, but the October ordinance really gave our client no choice.”
Crypto mine won’t affect local ducks, judge rules
The judge reportedly found no indication the crypto mine would cause environmental harm or adverse health effects. Two witnesses at the hearing claimed the DeWitt crypto mine wouldn’t cause any harm to humans and wouldn’t be as loud as other crypto mines in Arkansas County.
Rumors that the mine would “discharge pollutants into Arkansas County streams and waterways,” and “generate loud noise that could damage hearing and drive off waterfowl,” reportedly circulated according to Jones Digital lawyers.
The lawyers claim that the hearing found “Even at peak operation, any noise would be far below anything that could damage hearing.” They also said the judge found the noise won’t affect local waterfowl and that the crypto mine “has a closed water system that will discharge nothing into the watershed.”
The mine is reportedly linked to Bono Management Inc. and owned by Yizheng Ethan Wang and Li Li. These two are said to hold a managerial role at a bitcoin mine near Greenbrier that is also reportedly causing noise complaints.