The county website contains two drafts, one being the Cryptocurrency Mining Resolution and the other one the Cryptocurrency Mining Zoning Overlay District Regulations. The county’s commissioners will hold a public hearing concerning both the regulation drafts on April 4.
The latter draft “establishes locations where cryptocurrency mining operations may be sited in Missoula County and conditions that must be met in order to protect the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of county residents.” In particular, the document puts an emphasis on the possible effect on global warming and electronic waste.
The proposed regulation also sets a number or requirement for crypto mining operations. More precisely, mining operations can be located only in light industrial and heavy industrial districts, they need to be reviewed as a conditional use and verification must be provided that all electronic waste generated will be handled by a DEQ-licensed recycling firm. Lastly:
“These facilities shall be required to develop or purchase sufficient new renewable energy to offset 100 percent of the electricity consumed by the cryptocurrency mining operation. To meet this condition, the cryptocurrency mining operation must be able to establish that their actions will introduce new renewable energy onto the electrical grid beyond what would have been developed otherwise.”
The document also specifies that mining operations that existed before the draft becomes effective, which would not be allowed under this regulation, may continue as long as they remain otherwise legal. Still, those operations won’t be authorized for expansion or moving if they don’t conform with the regulations, and other conditions are set for such instances.
Also, at the beginning of the current month, experts from United States-based tech consultancy firm Booz Allen Hamilton have said that blockchain can make the infrastructure of new renewable energy markets across the Gulf Cooperation Council more secure, resilient and cost-efficient.