Jim Beam to face fines after fire leads to massive fish kill in Ky.

Jim Beam faces fine for water pollution that killed fish

WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT/Gray News)- Jim Beam will be fined following the July 2 fire at their warehouse in Woodford County that contaminated a nearby creek creating a “severe” fish kill in sections of the Kentucky River, WKYT reported.

John Mura with Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet confirmed the fine Wednesday morning.

“There is a penalty and we will be assessing the whole incident, and I am sure we will be issuing a notice of violation,” Mura said.

Mura says the bourbon company may also face fines from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, but both will be negotiated by a representative from the company and state official. The cost of each fine was not known as of Wednesday.

The agency says a lightning strike led to the days-long fire. Crews battled the blaze until the following weekend when a commercial firefighting group contained the controlled burn, relieving local responders – many of which had been on scene day-in and day-out.

Environmentalists said the plume of runoff from the fire spent days floating down the Kentucky River, creating a 23-mile long “alcohol plume” that flowed into the Kentucky River, WAVE reported. It has since dispersed as it entered into the much larger mouth of the Ohio River.

As of Wednesday, it is believed to be passing the Louisville, area but no sightings or environmental problems have been reported. Oxygen levels have returned to normal standards within the Kentucky River.

Some residents in Franklin County have reported a taste in the drinking water; however, officials say the water is safe to drink.

With many distilleries and bourbon warehouses in Kentucky, the department says they are beginning to identify where all of the warehouses are and begin looking at ways the cabinet can potentially assist the industry in keeping the product out of Kentucky water.

Copyright 2019 WKYT via Gray Television Group, Inc. All rights reserved.