Darling Ingredients

Grapeland's air smells a lot sweeter, a week after a deluge of complaints about a stench coming from the Darling Ingredients plant, just east of the city on 227 East. Last week, a Herald-Press columnist compared the smell to “month-old road kill.”

Grapeland Mayor Balis Daily, who lives a mile from the plant, said Thursday the stench from the plant evaporated last weekend.

“I’ve been checking the situation twice a day and haven’t smelled anything,” Daily said. “And the city has not had any complaints in the last eight days.”

Daily said he questioned company officials about the source of the odor, but they either could not or would not provide an answer.

Natascha Crow, who lives across from the plant, also reported on Thursday scents were satisfactory again. “Since you ran those reports – I'm not sure what they finally fixed – things have been so much better.”

Ashely Owens agreed. “I haven’t smelled anything since last week,” she said.

The plant and the odor pollution have been investigated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and officials from Darling's corporate office, who visited the plant last week on Thursday.

The plant faces Notice of Violations for five infractions, issued after a previous investigation on April 17.

Darling Ingredients is a global developer and producer of natural ingredients for food, feed, and fuel ingredients. Its Grapeland plant, 930 FM 227 East, supports the regional poultry processing operation, pet food production, and renewable fuel.