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The Nation

February 10, 1989

North Carolina threatened to ban bourbon in a mountain feud with Tennessee over dirty branch water. Irate legislators filed bills calling for the ban on Tennessee whiskey in retaliation for Tennessee's refusal to let a North Carolina paper mill keep polluting the Pigeon River, which flows through the two states in the Smoky Mountains. "We don't like to mess in politics, but I hope we can get this feud worked out before we all start meeting on the creek bank and fighting it out," said Roger Brashears of the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn. For 80 years, the Champion International paper mill in the western North Carolina town of Canton has dumped its pollution into the Pigeon River, making the water stink and turning it the color of coffee.

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