updated 12/29/2005 9:24:39 AM ET 2005-12-29T14:24:39

A foul-smelling plant that turns turkey byproducts into fuel oil was ordered closed by the governor Wednesday until the company finds a way to clear the air.

Renewable Environmental Solutions Inc. in the southwest Missouri community of Carthage had agreed in May to improve its odor-control systems after state and city officials sued, alleging the smell posed a public nuisance.

The company also was cited six times by state environmental officials this year, Gov. Matt Blunt said, but the smell continued.

"The people of Carthage have endured terrible odors from the plant for too long," Blunt said.

The facility produces 100 to 200 barrels of fuel oil a day using byproducts from a nearby ConAgra Foods turkey processing facility.

The governor wants the Department of Natural Resources to review the plant's operations and give the company an opportunity to stop the smell.

The factory was still operating late Wednesday afternoon.

"We have been in contact with the company, and they are aware that this is coming," department spokeswoman Connie Patterson said.

Company officials were "shocked and disappointed" by the governor's order, according to a statement. They said a process was already in place for the city and the department to work together on the problem. The two parties were scheduled to meet next week.

Authorities had hoped cooler weather and plant improvements would reduce odors. But that has not happened and "additional measures are needed before spring when experts believe the nuisance will grow more acute due to warmer weather," the governor said.

According to the company's Web site, the plant uses extreme heat and pressure to break down agricultural waste and reform it, mimicking the way fossil fuels are created in nature, but in hours rather than millions of years.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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