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Faulkner County Citizens Speak Out About Crypto-Mining Noise

2 min read

Gladys Anderson knew she was getting a new neighbor, she just didn’t know it would be a multimillion-dollar cryptocurrency mine.

And she certainly didn’t know how loud the neighbor would be.

When she saw a surveyor putting a stake in her yard in Bono [Faulkner County] in November, she thought someone was putting up a house.

“I walked over and talked to him and he said something about a crypto farm, bitcoin or something.”

The next thing she knew, crews were clearing the land, building a pad and “bringing in these [shipping containers]; there’s vehicles everywhere from the power company, construction people, and nothing was ever said about it other than the guy doing the survey.”

Since May 2, she has heard the steady hum of the fans cooling the bitcoin mining equipment, even inside her house with the TV on. The site is across the street from an Entergy Arkansas substation and a hundred or so yards from Anderson’s large home.

“Everybody’s upset about it, upset from the noise,” she said.

Promises to put up a sound-damping wall haven’t come about, and the idea of putting up a temporary hay bale wall was considered a fire risk.

About a week after the crypto mine started operating, Anderson said, “the site manager drove over,” prompted by Facebook videos Anderson had shared, recording the 65 or 70 decibels of noise. “He was like, we don’t have the budget. This is like a $30 million site and we don’t have the budget for a sound barrier.”

Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson got the owner, Newrays LLC, to promise a noise abatement plan, and he wants something done soon, County Administrator Randy Higgins said.

Danny Lane, another neighbor, said the mining company “kind of snuck it in underneath us.”

Lane said he had complained to county officials, attended Quorum Court meetings and heard a lot of promises. No abatement has happened, but he has been criticized, he said.

“You’re just being racist because they’re Chinese,” Lane said, summarizing one line of criticism. “I’m not … this was all done underhanded.”

He said he bought property in the country to get away from noisy city life.

“It might be easier to take if we were given an option, if we were given a chance to say OK, explain this to us. Let us know what you’re doing, or let us know how this is going to work.”

Instead, he was surprised with a constant buzzing noise, he said. “This is what we listen to 24/7. It never stops.”

A representative of Newrays, Ethan Wang, did not respond to a phone message requesting comment.

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