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Arkansas Residents Outcry Over Rising Crypto Mining Nuisance, Senator Seeks Governor’s Response

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A senator from the US state of Arkansas is seeking answers from the governor's office as there is an increase in the outcry over unwanted cryptocurrency mines in small towns across the state.

Residents of Mountain Pine have complained over “freaking loud” noise from a new crypto-mining facility in Garland County, according to a local news outlet Katv.

“It's just freaking loud. High-pitched fans, that's what you hear,” said Gary Muston, a resident who lives across the road from the mining facility. Some residents complained that the noise can be heard as far as four or five miles away.

As a result, Arkansas lawmaker Sen. Bryan King is reportedly seeking a response to the outcries of the residents. King has requested records related to crypto mines in the locality from a governor's office staffer, Legislative Director Jamie Barker.

According to another recent report from Katv, a law was passed early this year, welcoming crypto-mining businesses in the state and largely preventing local government from regulating crypto-mines.

The law, dubbed Act 851, notes that crypto mining activities can operate in this state if it complies with the state law concerning business guidelines and tax policies, ordinance concerning operations safety and state employment laws.

King Requested Repeal of Act 851

Last month, King had requested to repeal the law during September's special session, citing locals’ concerns. However, his motion was turned down.

King noted that the government’s office denied his request which argued that his request is exempted from Arkansas' Freedom of Information Act law. He also added that Jamie Barker did not invite him to a meeting with other county peers, which discussed crypto mining matters in the state.

“He's one of them that had a meeting [with county officials] here recently that I was not invited to. You know, he seems to be the one that I think needs to be the one answering questions.”

The September special session did not discuss the issue of the state’s crypto-mining issue, King criticized the governor.

“We need to have answers about why they are being obstructions to trying to get this repealed and give cities and counties a right to be able to decide what they want.”

Following his questions, the governor’s communication director, Alexa Henning responded in a statement that the office places the safety and security of Arkansans on top.

“This is exactly why the governor signed multiple bills into law, during her first legislative session, to protect the state from nefarious foreign influence,” Henning added.