In the heart of Texas, a community is up in arms over the incessant noise pollution emanating from a nearby Bitcoin mining facility. Residents of Granbury have been enduring what they describe as the relentless roar of jet engines, a byproduct of the Marathon Digital Holdings plant’s operations. The sound, which penetrates homes and disrupts daily life, has become a source of significant distress for those living in close proximity to the crypto-currency creation site.
The issue at hand is not just the disturbance of peace but the serious health implications that come with it. Locals report suffering from a range of ailments including headaches, hearing loss, vertigo, nausea, and sleep disturbances. These symptoms are indicative of the severe impact that such industrial noise can have on the well-being of individuals. It raises questions about the balance between technological advancement and the quality of life for everyday citizens.
🤯 The world’s LARGEST Bitcoin mining facility is now under construction y’all! @RiotPlatforms will at some point be hashing at its NEW Corsicana, Texas site with 1 GW of energy⚡️ pic.twitter.com/5Vqwj8pZmk
— Luxor Technology 🟧⛏️ (@LuxorTechnology) February 8, 2024
Cheryl Shadden, a neighbor directly affected by the noise, has spoken out about the two-year-long ordeal. The constant din, she says, shakes windows and walls, leaving residents feeling like prisoners in their own homes. Attempts to drown out the noise with radios or sleep sounds have proved futile, highlighting the severity of the situation.
In response to the outcry, the community has taken to protesting outside the facility, signaling their frustration and the need for immediate action. Signs held by protestors underscore the sentiment that the benefits of Bitcoin will not remedy the strain on the local power grid nor address their grievances.
You suppose making Texas the “bitcoin capitol” might have something to do with our shanty grid? https://t.co/9uYXMjvyhD
— Jody Dean (dfwjodydean.bsky.social) (@DFWJodyDean) February 9, 2024
Local officials have acknowledged the problem, with county commissioner Nanette Samuelson revealing that her office has received numerous complaints since last March. However, regulatory action is limited to instances where the noise exceeds 85 decibels, a threshold that may not adequately protect residents from the continuous low-frequency hum generated by the plant’s cooling fans.
Critics argue that the Bitcoin mining industry exploits rural areas like Granbury, taking advantage of lax regulations and the promise of economic growth. Jackie Sawicky, founder of the Texas Coalition Against Cryptomining, has labeled the industry’s practices as “extraordinarily exploitative,” suggesting that these companies prioritize profit over the welfare of local communities.
Marathon Digital Holdings has issued a statement expressing their commitment to fostering positive relationships with the communities they operate in. They have initiated a third-party sound study to better understand and mitigate the impact on nearby residents. This move, while a step in the right direction, does little to provide immediate relief to those affected.
The situation in Granbury is not isolated. Similar issues have arisen in Pennsylvania and other parts of the country, indicating a broader challenge as the cryptocurrency industry expands. As residents grapple with the consequences of living next to a Bitcoin mine, the question remains: at what cost does progress come, and who truly pays the price?