Stinky situation causes City of Adrian to go to court as air has ‘Death smell’

More than 400 citizen complaints, seven EGLE violations were filed regarding horrible smell of an egg-drying operation

ADRIAN, Mich. – A stinky situation in Adrian has caused quite an uproar, as community members said the funk smelled like death.

Last week Local 4 confronted the company as the people have been waiting for a year, and now the smelly issue has been brought to court.

Tuesday (May 2) was a big day in court for the small town of Adrian. The city wants to shut down the plant until the odor is fixed, but the plant says it needs to operate and have more time to clean up the stinky mess.

We exposed the issue five days ago when more than 400 citizen complaints and seven EGLE violations were filed regarding the horrible smell of an egg-drying operation in town.

Crimson Holdings makes dehydrated egg powder as an additive pet food.

Adrian residents said living with the awful stench of the plant day in and day out was just too much.

Our cameras were in the Lenawee County courtroom Tuesday, with both sides presenting their case as it got tense.

The company says it wants more time to figure out how to mitigate the stench, and the city says residents have already been forced to breathe the awful smell for more than a year.

“The magnitude of this business and the harm that will be caused by issuing an injunction to shut it down in comparison to inconvenience for a period of time for the community,” said attorney Rick Berg for Crimson Holdings. “I think the court will find out that the balance of harms weighs in favor of my client.”

Both sides have a lot at stake.

The bottom line is that the city is arguing that even if the situation is improved, it’s still not working properly.

Court ended without a decision Tuesday. The hearing will continue on May 23.

Crimson Holdings can’t operate between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We’ll stay on this and let you know what happens next.

The PDF below shows violations from March 28, 2023, and April 7, 2023:

When will this get fixed?

The document below was provided by Crimson Holdings and lists the steps the company has taken to mitigate the stench:

Residents can submit concerns directly to the company at

About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.