Nixon sues turkey processing plant

Thursday, April 14, 2005

CARTHAGE, Mo. -- Attorney General Jay Nixon and the city have sued a plant that makes oil from turkey waste, seeking to put a stop to the foul odor it emits.

Residents have filed numerous complaints against Renewable Environmental Solutions, but Nixon said only court action may force the company to change its ways.

Brian Appel, who runs the plant, is trying to figure out what's causing the smell. He already has spent part of a $12 million federal grant he received last year to try to fix the problem.

The lawsuit claims that since the plant was built, its operation and waste handling has caused odors that "unreasonably interfere with the use and enjoyment of private and public property."

Company spokeswoman Julie Gelfand said Wednesday that the company already has invested $1.5 million in equipment and is making other changes to solve the problem.

"RES is committed to operating as a responsible neighbor," she said.

Nixon and the city of Carthage, which announced the lawsuit Wednesday, want the court to declare the odor a public nuisance and order the company to eliminate it.

Also, part of the state's congressional delegation asked the Missouri Department of Natural Resources last month to find out what's causing the odor.

Department director Doyle Childers said odor agents are putting in monitoring devices to collect data and should have a better idea in about 45 days of where the smell is coming from.

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