By CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
EPHRATA — The Ephrata City Council is considering a measure that would permanently limit cryptocurrency and other intensive computer operations to the areas of the city zoned for industry.
At a regular meeting on Wednesday, the council held a public hearing on the proposed measure allowing “high-intensity computer operations,” like cryptocurrency mining and computer animation, in those parts of the city zoned for heavy industry and “airport enterprise,” which includes most of the Port of Ephrata.
There was no one from the public to comment at the meeting. According to Ephrata City Administrator Wes Crago, the permanent ordinance will replace a year-long moratorium that was passed last October on all new cryptocurrency operations in the city. However, the council will not be able to consider the measure until “August at the earliest,” Crago said.
“Action does take a little more time,” he said.
Ephrata was one of several entities in the Columbia Basin to enact a temporary ban on such operations out of concern for noise, power use and the lack of local jobs the operations offer.
Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at email@example.com.