Who knew whiskey had such a horrible price tag?
No Fun Guy
All is not well in the county that's home to some of Jack Daniel's barrel houses, amid a fungal infestation seemingly caused by the whiskey itself.
In interviews with Insider, residents of the area adjacent to the Jack Daniel's barrel houses in Lincoln County, Tennessee described the impacts of Baudoinia compniacensis, a strange whiskey-borne black fungus that's plagued their properties since the company first built its facilities there in 2018.
The provenance of this so-called "whiskey fungus" is not hard to suss out given that B. compniacensis is such a well-known part of the scenery in the heart of Kentucky bourbon country that residents took it for granted years before they realized it might be bad for them.
"I'm extremely concerned. My wife has breathing problems. One of the neighbors got cancer," Patrick Long, whose house is next to the barrel houses, told the site. "It's in the air. And you really, probably don't want to be breathing that in. But nobody has done a test to determine if it's actually poisonous."
Long and his wife Christi told Insider that they and their fellow residents surrounding the new-ish barrel houses have a few reasonable demands for the county that they're now suing in an attempt to get them to take action: an environmental impact survey and an air filtration system that would block out the ethanol fumes that cause B. compniacensis to form.
When Insider reached out to Jack Daniel's for comment, the company declined, citing pending litigation as its reasoning.
They also, the report notes, are urging the county to issue a stop work order at the barrel houses, where Jack Daniel's is slated to build more of the facilities that the Longs say were built illegally.
In spite of the Jack Daniel's barrel houses being the cause of the fungus that not only causes health problems but leaves a horrifying and unsightly visible stain on the walls nearby, Long said that he has had to spend about $10,000 per year on power-washing since the bourbon-maker moved to town.
Long told Insider that he's alerted the Environmental Protection Agency to the issue, and his attorney said that a decision about the potential stop work order could be made within days.
Here's hoping these people can get some peace from the fungus among them — or, at very least, some restitution.
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