By Susan Redden
CARTHAGE, Mo. - Just days after agreeing to pay a $25,000 penalty for an earlier odor violation, Renewable Environmental Solutions of Carthage was cited Thursday for odors from its plant that turns turkey byproducts into crude oil and other products.
The most recent citation was the result of odors recorded Tuesday night, according to Renee Bungart of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Earlier this week, RES informed the Missouri attorney general's office that it would pay a $25,000 fine stemming from a Nov. 14 violation under a court-ordered consent judgment.
"While we disagree that RES has waived any appellate or administrative rights to challenge the NOV (notice of violation), RES intends to pay the $25,000 penalty pursuant to the consent judgment," Mark Anstoetter, attorney for the company, wrote in a letter to the attorney general's office.
On Thursday, officials with the DNR said the agency is completing a notice of excess emissions to be issued as a result of odors detected from the plant at 8:07 and 8:27 p.m. Tuesday.
Trisha Orr, who lives north of the plant, said she smelled the odor Tuesday night and was among those who notified the state.
"It was about as bad as I've ever smelled it," she said. "I called the DNR in Jefferson City, and they told me they had several calls."
Orr said she has been noticing odors more and more recently.
"The smell Tuesday night just terrified me, because it made me think of Christmas Eve in 2004, when the odor was just terrible," she said." I was having my family over for dinner, and I'm planning a Christmas Eve dinner for this year."
Under state law, RES will have 15 days to respond to the DNR and provide information about a potential start-up, shutdown or equipment malfunction. If the situation meets those criteria, the department may not take further action. If it does not meet the criteria, the DNR will upgrade the notice of excess emissions to a notice of violation. In either case, RES must take action to correct the odor problem.
The $25,000 penalty was assessed after the Nov. 14 notice of excess emissions was upgraded to a notice of violation. The DNR took that step because it could not be determined that the odor was due to a start-up, shutdown or equipment malfunction.
Thursday's notice is the second state citation against the company since the end of lawsuits filed against RES by the city of Carthage and Attorney General Jay Nixon. The state settled the lawsuit against RES in June. As part of the settlement, the company agreed to pay $25,000 each for any odor violations in a two-year period after the deal was announced. The company also agreed to pay $100,000 in civil penalties.
After agreeing to pay the $25,000 penalty, company officials said RES produces about 250,000 gallons of products from renewable sources each month.
"We are excited about the implications of our technology for the environment and for the energy market, and will continue to partner with the Missouri DNR to ensure the optimal operation of our plant," the statement said.
By Susan Redden
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