Authorities Warn: Don’t Eat Jim Beam-soaked Fish
Jim Beam-soaked fish sounds like something on the menu at a Kentucky restaurant. However, instead of representing a Southern delicacy, these Jim Beam-soaked fish are actually a current crisis in the Kentucky River.
In early July, a blaze erupted at a Kentucky Jim Beam warehouse containing an estimated 45,000 barrels of bourbon, some of which leaked into the nearby Kentucky River, which is now creating problems for local wildlife. According to WDSU News, "the aftermath of the bourbon spill was noticeable to those at the Kentucky River campground during the holiday (July 4) weekend. Hundreds of dead fish riddled the area."
According to a statement on social media by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, "the alcohol plume on the Kentucky River is approximately 23 miles long."
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The Jim Beam-contaminated water is expected to soon flow into the Ohio River as well, though the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet expects the alcohol to have less of an impact on the much larger body of water.
"The leading edge of the plume is located past Monterey and is now into the Ohio River at Carrollton," the Cabinet continues in its statement. "We expect the plume to dissipate quickly at it enters the much, much larger body of water. While there could be some impact to aquatic life immediately where the two rivers meet, we expect there will be little or no overall impact on the fish in the Ohio River."
State environmental officials noted they are continuing to assess the impacts on wildlife and are conducting fishkill counts along the waterways near the facility. According to WDSU News, the river cleanup process is expected to take weeks.
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