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Six-month moratorium passed to prevent new cryptocurrency "data centers" in Niagara Falls

Posted at 11:42 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 13:53:46-05

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Niagara Falls City Council is moving forward on a motion to pause all future cryptocurrency and "data center" development in Niagara Falls, following resident outrage at the noise the facilities produce.

"It was really loud. It could be heard anywhere near there, and our number one priority is the residents of Niagara Falls," said Kenny Tompkins, the Chairman of the City Council.

The Data Center found on Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls at the old site of the Dupont Factory has been the one causing large amounts of concern. One resident told 7 Eyewitness News they could feel the heat from the plant from as far away as across the street, as well as "deafening noise."

The moratorium passed 4-1, becoming effective immediately.

"We are really excited about this, getting out in front of the curve. There haven't been many regulations and we want to slow the spread of these facilities until we can put some guidelines in place," said Tompkins.

The moratorium will hold off all new data centers and cryptocurrency mining facilities in Niagara Falls until June 15th, 2022. It is unclear what the future will be for the two existing facilities.

In addition, representatives from the community and the activism group NOAH showed out in large numbers due to their distaste with the lack of transparency the Niagara Falls City Council and their meeting - specifically with the allocation of the American Rescue Fund planning for the city.

"We just want to be included, and have a seat at the table," said former Niagara Falls City Councillor Ezra Scott Jr.

Some residents came to show their distaste with the length of time it took to move this forward, including bearing signs with slogans such as "collaboration?" and others.

"It makes you feel left out. It makes you feel as if you don’t have a say in the community. Like your being circumvented," said Donta Myles, former Niagara Falls City Councilman candidate and resident.

The members of NOAH cite what they said is a "violation of the open meetings law," a federal and state law that states the public is required to be notified about all public government meetings.