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Niagara Falls Mayor proposes zoning ordinance to combat loud noise from Bitcoin mining facility

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Posted at 10:41 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 04:15:43-04

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Those who live near the Bitcoin mining facility on Buffalo Avenue say the constant noise coming from the facility is a nuisance and is invading their homes. Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino proposed a zoning ordinance amendment to regulate how the mining facilities in the city operate.

"I used to hear the falls from my backyard, and now I hear Bitcoin," one Niagara Falls resident said.

Those living in the area near Buffalo Avenue said they first noticed the loud hum in March.

"I couldn't figure out why the rumble of jet engines was blasting through my neighborhood at 6am. Were we being invaded?" another resident said.

"At the beginning of the year, my home was invaded by noise. It's the U.S. Bitcoin mining located on Buffalo Avenue," a third resident said.

They said the loud sound coming from the facility is disrupting their quality of life.

"Basically, I'd like to be able to sleep in my bed at night without hearing a very high pitched coil in my ear the whole time. I have to sleep with earplugs in now just so I can sleep in my own bed," a fourth resident said.

Neighbors said they can hear the noise up to a mile and a half away.

"I don't know where you guys are putting your DB meters, but I'm a mile and a half away and that noise goes up at least 100 feet, and then comes over all the houses. If I stand on 27th and Forest or Woodlawn, it's loud as hell," a fifth resident said.

Mayor Restaino has proposed a zoning ordinance to help combat the sound. He said the city does not have any zoning ordinances dealing with facilities like Bitcoin miners, because the entire industry was established within the past ten years.

"We're trying to wrap our arms around a community that has no zoning regulation for this. No method of establishing the way in which this industry can operate," Restaino said.

The proposed zoning ordinance regulates noise levels, distance, energy use and electronic waste.

Restaino said there has been a moratorium put in place so no Bitcoin facility can expand in the area. The moratorium lasts until September.

He said the facility on Buffalo Avenue was constructed without the proper permits in the first place, but despite that, he wants to keep the industry in the area.

"When we can, we need to make sure we diversify the way the city's economy operates. These investments by these industries into the properties they occupy is certainly appreciated," Restaino said.

Mackinzie Dae, the director of operations at Blockfusion on Frontier Avenue, said they did get the proper permits to construct their site and are willing to comply with whatever zoning ordinances are established.

"It has zero effect on us. We are happy to have words. We are pro-regulation because we don't want people coming here doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons," Dae said.

No one at the meeting mentioned a noise nuisance coming from the Blockfusion facility on Frontier Avenue.

The Niagara Falls Planning Board now has to recommend the ordinance to the city council for approval.