Why Are Some Maine Residents Complaining About Fungus Near Their Homes?
Residents in one Maine town are urging officials to not approve a requested expansion of a local business after they say they business is responsible for an invasive species of fungus that has been found growing nearby.
According to an article published on WGME 13, some residents in York, Maine near the Wiggly Bridge distillery say that the business is responsible for an invasive fungus that has been growing in the area near the distillery.
Wiggly Bridge, located on Route 1 in York, is a small batch maker of bourbon, gin, rum, vodka and other hand-crafted spirits. However, the fungus that area residents are concerned about feeds and grows on the fumes of whiskey.
Baudoinia Compniacensis, also known as 'whiskey fungus', is something that people all around the country, especially in Tennessee and Kentucky, have contended with for decades.
The WGME I-Team explains in part,
In Kentucky and Tennessee, where distillers age millions of barrels of liquor, this fungus has blackened entire towns and is the subject of numerous lawsuits. It's the same fungus now in York near the Wiggly Bridge Distillery on Route 1.
WGME also explains that a study that was performed by the University of Maine, took samples within a 1-mile radius of the Wiggly Bridge Distillery and tested them for the fungus. The results showed that a good portion of the 100+ samples taken did in fact contain traces of the fungus, and now neighbors of the business say enough is enough.
Wiggly Bridge is looking to expand their operations into two new buildings in town and have solicited the town for approval on the project. Though the town could approve the expansion as early as this coming Wednesday, some York residents are pleading with the town to block the expansion as they say the business is in violation of town ordinance by allowing the fungus to grow.
Currently, there are no-known health hazards associated with the whiskey fungus, though many argue that more testing is needed to make a full determination.
Marilyn Zotos, neighbor of the distillery, said in part,
"That business is in violation of the current ordinance. The testing shows they're in violation, and if you're in violation of a standing ordinance, you're not supposed to be able to expand on a violation."
We will continue to follow this story as more information becomes available.