Odor from troubled rendering plant overwhelms neighbors in north Iowa county

Emmet County zoning administrator Barb Bohm says Estherville residents have filed more than 300 odor complaints against the Central Bi-Products plant, mostly since May.

Posted: Sep. 24, 2018 6:24 AM

ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Residents of a northwest Iowa town say they're being overwhelmed by the stench from a nearby rendering plant.

Emmet County zoning administrator Barb Bohm says Estherville residents have filed more than 300 odor complaints against the Central Bi-Products plant, mostly since May. Emmet County Supervisor Jeff Quastad says the odor from the plant smells "like death, like rotting flesh."

The county Board of Supervisors has decided to pursue fines against the plant for violating its use permit.

Dan Hildebrandt is CEO of Farmers Union Industries, of Redwood Falls, Minnesota, which is the parent company of Central Bi-Products. Hildebrant told Emmet County supervisors in July the plant problems were caused in part by a fire and a management change. He assured supervisors the company was working to make improvements.

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