In the recent Washington Post story "A neighborhood’s cryptocurrency mine: ‘Like a jet that never leaves’ -- Cryptocurrency mining brought constant noise to this remote part of Appalachia of various cryptocurrency data centers which have recently opened in various rural areas, particularly in parts of Appalachia. Some people in the area complain strongly of the noise generated by such operations, and are lobbying for government action. Most of the ares described seem to have no current noise regulations, or only vague are rarely enforced regulations. Some of these "mines" are reported to cause noise at decibel levels which would be in violation of noise limits in various urban areas.

If a state or county passed and enforced strict noise limits, and a "mine" was forced to shut down to comply, would that constitute a regulatory taking under the Fifth Amendment? If so, would the value of the cryptocurrency tokens that the "mine" had produced be taken into account in determining "just compensation"?

1 Answer 1


Probably not

The potential conflict here is between the police power of the state to enact noise pollution regulations and the fifth amendment obligation to compensate owners when property is taken (applicable to the states via the fourteenth amendment).

In general, the regulation must be so invasive as to deny the owner all economic value of their property. Presumably the owner could implement noise mitigation in order to continue mining or turn their land to another use so they have not lost all economic value.

Notwithstanding, the neighbours could seek an injunction to prevent the noise under the tort of nuisance. A recent Victorian case held that the neighbours could do so even though the wind farm complied with its permit, while this is not directly applicable to the US it is believed to be a common law world’s first precedent.

  • "A recent Victorian case" I didn't know that Victorian was used as a geo-descriptor as well as a temporal one until today.
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 13, 2022 at 22:25
  • 2
    @ohwilleke Victorian, Tasmanian, Western and South Australian all work; Northern Territorian sort of work, we get the awkward New South Welsh and the totally unworkable Queenslandish.
    – Dale M
    Sep 13, 2022 at 23:53
  • Does a “Victorian […] common law first precedent” have, as a matter of law (incl. decisional), more weigh in a U.S. court than making comparative international law arguments?
    – kisspuska
    Sep 14, 2022 at 0:47
  • Denying the owner of all economic value is the test for a per se taking, as I recall, but it is not a necessary condition for a taking under the Penn Central test.
    – bdb484
    Sep 14, 2022 at 1:47
  • 1
    @kisspuska. For a US court no international law has precedential weight, but the ruling in another common law country is going to be based on similar principles to US common law so that court's arguments may be more persuasive than a non common law country's ruling. Sep 14, 2022 at 6:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .