This should teach a lesson to environmental violators. All it takes to invoke the wrath of Missouri Governor Matt Blunt is about three dozen citations.
According to a news release from the governor's office, Blunt has ordered the DNR to temporarily close Renewable Environmental Solutions "until the department reviews the company's operations and gives them the opportunity to determine what additional steps it can take to become compliant with state air quality rules and operate without producing a vile odor."
The vile odor isn't just what Carthaginians smelled in the air every day, it was also the state agency's reaction. Until the governor and his father, Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt, became involved a few months back, there wasn't even any attempt by the DNR to get to the bottom of what the smell that was making Carthage anything but a great place to live.
"The people of Carthage have endured terrible odors from the plant for too
long," Blunt said in the news release. "I want the business to be successful but the concerns of the people who live and work near the plant is more important to me. If left unresolved, this one business will have a negative impact on the region by
hurting tourism and job growth. We simply cannot allow one company to bring down an entire community."
According to the news release,"Blunt has asked Doyle Childers, director of the Department of Natural Resources, to work with RES to review ways the facility can function in a community friendly manner. Blunt said ceasing operations during this interim time period will ensure that the citizens of Carthage are not subjected to a
public nuisance while the state looks for an appropriate long-term solution."
The news release continues, "RES produces oil from by-products derived from the nearby ConAgra Foods turkey processing facility. The plant currently produces 100 to 200 barrels of oil per day. RES has been cited for violations of Missouri state air
rules on six occasions, all in 2005. It was hoped that cooler weather and measures implemented by the facility would lead to substantially decreased odors. This has not occurred and additional measures are needed before spring when experts believe the nuisance will grow more acute due to warmer weather."