MCLAIN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – The owner of a meat processing plant in McLain County has filed a lawsuit against the tenant leasing the land. It happens to be the same facility many people in the community have been complaining about for months, saying the smell is sickening.
First Goldsby Investment Company, LLC owns property that has been home to a meat processing facility for many years. The plant is located in between the towns of Goldsby and Washington along state highway 74.
The company leased the property to Goldsby Meat Company in 2018 and all was well, until the tenant reportedly sublet the facility to a business called Harker Meats in late 2021.
According to the lawsuit, the leasing agreement does not allow for subletting. The lawsuit also claimed the DEQ found violations for expired permits, tainted water systems, and unsanitary conditions. News 4 reached out to the DEQ who confirmed the violations.
The lawsuit even referred our News 4 report on the poor conditions at the site as an example.
We aired a story back in June about the overwhelming smell coming from the facility, the problems with the lagoons on site, and carcasses left on site out in the heat for days.
We spoke with many residents in the area who are constantly overwhelmed by the odor coming from the facility.
“It smells like death,” said Mary Brannon, an outspoke resident.
“I think everybody’s very frustrated,” said Doug Kennon, a concerned neighbor. “It’s affecting everybody’s lives.”
Adam Vossen, Goldsby’s Town Administrator, said he has been working on a resolution to the plant’s ongoing stench and unsanitary conditions for months. He said he even met with lawmakers who set up a meeting with representatives from the USDA who told him there was nothing wrong with the plant.
“We learned there were no regulations on smell and that each daily inspector that was stationed at the site has failed to report an odor from the facility,” said Vossen.
“I get phone calls in regards to this facility over the weekends and I stop what I’m doing and I call every single USDA inspector that I have their phone number on the weekends and I call their cell phones because I think that if we have to continually put up with this as a community, then they should to.”
Vossen said the process has been frustrating and something he’s had to deal with for nearly a year. But he said he will keep fighting to find a solution to the community’s problem.
“We’re hopeful that as we continue to push back, that they will be a little bit more stringent and perhaps this may result in some sort of legislation or regulations,” said Vossen. We reached out to Harker Meats, asking about the allegations from the lawsuit. A representatives emailed back saying they would “have no comment on pending legal matters.”