Crypto mining could be limited in the county “under temporary emergency interim zoning,” the Missoulian described. The mining moratorium proposal was first presented at a public hearing in June but the decision was postponed for three months “to give staff more time to consider various options,” the publication added.
After Thursday’s hearing, the county posted a notice on its website stating:
Jennie Dixon from the county’s Community and Planning Services department revealed that 92 percent of about 80 written comments from 71 individuals supported the moratorium, the news outlet noted.
Attorney Jaymie Bowditch represents Hyperblock Technologies, the parent company of Project Spokane, one of the companies operating a cryptocurrency mining operation in the Missoula town of Bonner. He explained:
Commissioner Dave Strohmaier commented, “We are talking about the impacts themselves, not necessarily crypto mining as an industry — the noise, e-waste, possible excessive use of electricity that threatens our planet.” He was further quoted suggesting: “It may be that we need a much broader approach because of the potential this would be myopic. But I do have serious concerns about the energy use.”
The county has been trying to attract crypto miners to set up operations. According to its website:
However, the website also points out some concerns regarding “the current and potential adverse impacts of cryptocurrency mining on the public health and safety of its residents.” These impacts include noise pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, electrical system reliability and safety, fire safety hazard, and electronic waste containing heavy metals and carcinogens.