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Congressman Asks EPA to Investigate Crypto Mining's Environmental Impact

Congressman Asks EPA to Investigate Crypto Mining's Environmental Impact
 
    A group of House Democrats wants the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the environmental impact of crypto mining, citing “serious concerns” about pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
 
 
    Two dozen lawmakers, led by Rep. Jared Hoffman (D-Calif.), sent a letter to the EPA this week asking regulators to ensure mining companies comply with the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
 
    “We are gravely concerned about reports that cryptocurrency facilities across the country are polluting communities and contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions,” the letter reads.
 
    Lawmakers said the "rapidly expanding" cryptocurrency industry must be monitored and criticized digital tokens that require proof-of-work (PoW) to authorize transactions, which involves miners using power-intensive computers to solve complex puzzles.
 
    The letter complained about the "massive server farms" used in PoW mining, saying the use of specialized computing hardware creates "significant e-waste challenges." "Millions of devices are rapidly becoming obsolete, resulting in massive amounts of e-waste". It is estimated that Bitcoin mining alone generates 30,700 tons of e-waste every year. “The industry needs to be held accountable for this waste and discourage its manufacture.” In addition to evaluating mining companies to ensure they are complying with environmental laws, the letter asks the EPA to work with the communities where the server sites are located in reviewing licenses to “ensure communities without the toxic burden associated with the technology”. Representatives for the EPA did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It's request for comment.

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