Counties Compete to Impose Crypto Mining Restrictions


Several Arkansas counties have been swiftly passing emergency ordinances in anticipation of a new state law that will be taking effect on August 1st. The law, Act 851 of 2023, seeks to protect data asset miners from discriminatory regulations and taxes. The law limits local governments’ power to enact certain noise restrictions and other regulatory requirements on cryptocurrency mining operations, such as preventing them from imposing different requirements on crypto mines than they do on data centers.

Residents of Faulkner County have already experienced the disruption caused by digital asset mining operations firsthand, with one resident claiming they could hear the sound of the mine inside their home, four miles away. This prompted their Quorum Court to consider an ordinance targeting data centers.

The Association of Arkansas Counties provided a model ordinance to counties in June in response to the law. At least a dozen counties have passed noise ordinances, including Faulkner County’s, which removed crypto-specific language present in the original and noise study and permitting requirements.

Arguments about the ordinance became tense as some members of the Quorum Court, some of whom were open supporters of crypto, said they weren’t in favor of imposing “industry-specific” regulations. Despite this, the amended ordinance passed.

Van Buren County’s county judge, Dale James, attended Faulkner County’s Quorum Court meeting in order to understand the outcome as he prepared for Van Buren County’s Quorum Court meeting on Thursday, where their own crypto noise ordinance was voted on.

Faulkner County’s county judge, Allen Dodson, commended the Faulkner County Quorum Court for their work on the noise ordinance. He said, “This is not a new issue. This has been discussed in virtually every county in Arkansas. It’s a broad issue, it’s not easy to address. You here in attendance are seeing the legislative body of this county wrestle with how we approach things in America. They don’t take this lightly.”

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