Jim Beam to pay $600,000 fine, will reimburse KY Energy and Environment Cabinet $112K for July fire

NKyTribune staff

Jim Beam has agreed to pay a $600,000 fine as a result of environmental damage from the July warehouse fire in Woodford County.

Image captured from WKYT video

The fire, which was believed to have been caused by a lightning strike, destroyed a warehouse and contaminated parts of the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers. 

Jim Beam has also agreed to reimburse the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet $112,000.

Following the fire Jim Beam issued a statement explaining that it has a comprehensive warehouse safety program that includes regular inspections and rigorous protocols to promote safety and the security of its aging inventory. 

The statement indicated the company operates 126 barrel warehouses in Kentucky that hold approximately 3.3 million barrels for its brands. The warehouse that was destroyed contained 45,000 barrels of relatively young whiskey from the Jim Beam mash bill.

Following the fire, representatives of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources sampled water oxygen levels and documented the number of fish killed. The teams also worked to conduct active aeration in an effort to mitigate some of the effects to the aquatic life.

The agencies identified quantities of dead and distressed fish downstream of the city of Frankfort. Other impacts observed on the river included foaming, discoloration, and odor.

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