LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. (WHNT) — Residents in Lincoln County, Tennessee faced the county commission and Brown-Forman Corporation executives Tuesday — looking for answers about the construction of Jack Daniels warehouses in the area.
The residents claim vapors from the existing warehouses created a thick and uncontrollable black mold that damages everything in its vicinity.
The whiskey giant has been a mainstay in Middle Tennessee for years and they currently have five warehouses. On Tuesday, folks made it clear to the Lincoln County Commission — no barrel houses in their neighborhood. However, the county commission approved construction plans for two more warehouses — claiming the additions are part of a larger plan to financially grow the city.
“Give us some filtration,” said Patrick Long, a Lincoln County resident. “They use it in California on distilleries all the time. E.J. Gallo, the winemaker, has used it for almost a decade.”
Long says the fungus is a menace for plants, trees, and even houses.
Executives with Jack Daniels contend the fungus is not caused by the evaporated alcohol, and even without a proven environmental study, claim the vapor doesn’t cause physical harm.
“They are well below the OSHA permissible exposure limits and when we monitor air quality exterior, we’re detecting no ethanol vapors,” said Melvin Keebler, the company’s vice president.
Gary Willer, another resident, was outraged that the mold has altered the way they live.
“When I moved here 30 years ago, I washed my house once a year,” Willer explained. “Now I wash my house four to five times a year. I washed it two months ago, and it needs it again. I can’t live like this anymore.”
Due to overwhelming opposition, further discussion and amendments about the warehouses were tabled until mid-February.