Marathon site manager ducks Texas noise charges amid resident complaints

A Texas jury has acquitted the plant manager of a Marathon Digital mining site near Granbury, Texas, finding him not guilty of 12 noise violations amid complaints from local residents.

Marathon’s site manager David Fischer was found not guilty by a six-person jury in a case involving allegations that Marathon’s Granbury site operated at a noise level that could cause hearing loss, local outlet the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on July 10.

Fischer’s acquittal comes after a lengthy July 8 TIME report that detailed claims by over 40 people in the Granbury area who said they suffered adverse medical conditions they believed were caused by noise from Marathon’s site.

Source: Robert Downen

The TIME article reported that Hood County Constable John Shirley claims to have recorded multiple readings in the past months where the site operated over 85 decibels — enough to cause hearing loss with long or repeated exposure, according to the United States National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

However, the noise violation accusations were aimed at Fischer, not toward the crypto-mining firm. Fischer’s lawyers said he wasn’t the right person to cite, and it’s up to Hood County to cite Marathon for the alleged violations.

At trial, Fischer’s lawyers also claimed Constable Shirley’s readings were inflated, and the noise from Marathon’s miners was not improper as it was a legal industrial site.

Bitcoin (BTC) mining is a resource-intensive process using specialized computers to solve cryptographic puzzles to secure the blockchain. Mining rigs generate a significant amount of heat and need to be cooled.

Related: Hut 8 expands mining operations with power deal in West Texas

Some of Granbury’s residents claimed the noise the fans make to cool these mining rigs — a loud, low-frequency hum — and the arrival of the mine is connected to heart issues, chest pain, migraines, nausea and tinnitus — commonly a ringing sound.

A Marathon representative told TIME that by the end of the year, “we intend to have replaced the majority of air-cooled containers with immersion cooling” — a process where the mining rigs are immersed in a fluid that keeps them cool.

Marathon did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

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