'Whiskey fungus' probe cloaked in silence

The Millers Lane facility.
From the Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal:

LOUISVILLE, KY -- Diageo Americas Supply Inc., a subsidiary of a British company that makes Bulleit Bourbon, had a November 4 deadline to respond to a Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District enforcement action against a so-called "whiskey fungus" that authorities blame for covering cars and homes with dark spots.

But district officials aren’t saying whether the company met the deadline, and they are withholding all correspondence from the company to the district related to the enforcement action.

The secrecy -- for now, anyway -- is allowed under the Kentucky Open Records law because the district’s enforcement action is still ongoing, officials said in a response to a request of mine to review the records.

Back in September, the violation notices sent to the company cited air-quality infractions at whiskey warehouses at 2349 Millers Lane, and were the first since the district began looking into the vapor problem in the mid-2000s.

The case could be called high profile because it involves a signature Louisville industry -- bourbon. Mayor Greg Fischer, in a response to a reporter’s question, at first questioned the science behind the enforcement action of his own agency, but later withdrew from the matter, citing a potential for the appearance of a conflict of interest. A business partner is among those suing the company over the fungus.

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