Jared Huffman (United States House of Representatives) and 12 other lawmakers asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to assess whether crypto mining firms could violate environmental statutes.
Huffman addressed a Wednesday letter to Michael Regan, the administrator of the EPA. He and other Democratic House members were concerned about crypto firms operating in the United States that are allegedly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and not complying with the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The lawmakers were concerned about efforts to reopen closed gas and coal facilities to produce energy for crypto mining operations. They also cited energy-inefficient proof of work mining for Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Monero XMR, and Zcash (ZEC).
The letter stated that cryptocurrency mining is poisoning communities. To protect communities, the rapidly growing cryptocurrency industry must be held accountable.
— EWG (@ewg) April 21, 2022
The U.S. lawmakers also pointed out that energy production has caused water and air pollution. They also noted large amounts of electronic waste from crypto miners, as well as noise pollution in areas near communities with mining operations in New York and Tennessee. Representative Brad Sherman, a former advocate for banning cryptocurrencies in the United States, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (progressive lawmaker) signed the letter to support action against mining firms.
According to the letter to Regan, we ask that the EPA examine PoW mining facilities’ compliance with environmental statutes like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act and engage the communities when reviewing permits. We ask that the EPA investigate any harm these PoW facilities are causing to communities, including ensuring that electronic waste is properly disposed of and that noise pollution is reduced.
As cryptocurrency continues to gain popularity, we must ensure that communities don’t suffer the harmful effects of this technology.
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The U.S. government continues to debate the energy requirements of cryptocurrency miners.