Environment
9:16 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Air Pollution District Fines Diageo for Whiskey Fungus, Odor

Louisville's Air Pollution Control District has sent a Notice of Violation to liquor giant Diageo, alleging the company violated the conditions of its permit.

The violations laid out include several odor complaints near Diageo's whiskey aging warehouse at 2359 Millers Lane. But perhaps more interesting is another violation for the sooty-mold that has been seen on properties near the warehouse.

Earlier this year, a class action lawsuit was filed against three liquor companies--including Diageo--for allowing the whiskey fungus (Baudoinia Compniacensis) to contaminate nearby properties. The plaintiffs allege the ethanol emissions from the warehouses (often called the Angel's Share) helps produce the fungus. In the lawsuit, the three companies claim the fungus is naturally-occurring.

But by issuing violations for the whiskey fungus, the APCD  seems to agree that the warehouses directly contribute to the fungus. The district also added a page on its website on the topic, which says:

The presence of ethanol odors directly correlate with the rapid growth of Baudoinia Compniacensis. While Baudoinia Compniacensis is a naturally occurring mold, it is normally slow growing and eclipsed by other faster producing molds. However, when it is introduced to ethanol rich environments, such as that surrounding a whiskey aging warehouse, it becomes uncharacteristically fast growing, resilient and adaptive to many environments. Thus, where whiskey aging warehouses exist, so will Baudoinia Compniacensis.

This story will be updated.