Adrian powdered egg plant hit with violations for stench that ‘smells like death’

Around 400 complaints received against plant

Adrian powdered egg plant. (WDIV)

ADRIAN, Mich. – There have been around 400 complaints against a powdered egg manufacturing plant in Adrian, Michigan, over a stench that residents said “smells like death.”

The plant is run by Crimson Holdings, LLC. The company purchased the building from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and turned it into an inedible egg-drying facility. They sell powdered eggs to pet food brands.

Full report: What is being done to stop the stench from a powdered egg plant in Adrian?

There have been multiple violations from the state issued against Crimson Holdings. An EGLE district supervisor said the closer you get to the facility, the stronger the odor is.

A violation from April 7, 2023, stated, “The purpose of this odor observation was to investigate ongoing complaints which AQD continues to receive regarding foul odors attributed to Crimson Holdings’ operations.” The Air Quality Division staff verified that odors coming from the facility were a violation.

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

Confronting Crimson Holdings COO Chad Benson

Crimson Holdings’ chief operating officer Chad Benson spoke with Local 4 over Zoom.

  • Karen Drew: I guess I have to ask you from the residents’ standpoint, you know, the rules are the rules. If you want to operate, you can’t stink up the air. It’s an air-quality issue.
  • Chad Benson: Those odor violations have, on average, been a three of a scale of one to five.
  • Chad Benson: The idea that we are not addressing this, is simply not true.
  • Karen Drew: When’s the last time you were down there?
  • Chad Benson: Probably about a month and a half ago.
  • Karen Drew: I was there a few weeks ago and it stunk.
  • Chad Benson: I understand that. We have, we knew the stack was not going to ultimately be the end all be all. We have been working with multiple civil companies, engineering companies in the area to isolate how we’re going to put a scrubber in.

Chad Benson was talking about a new stack that was installed in an effort to mitigate the stench, but it wasn’t a complete solution.

  • Karen Drew: With all due respect, you’re giving a lot of reasons why your company is running into roadblocks. But that’s your job, that’s your responsibility. You came into this town and this town now is suffering. So, you know, it really does fall on you.
  • Chad Benson: I don’t think we’ve deflected any responsibility from it. We’re doing everything we possibly can do to get this done.

Watch more of the conversation in the video player above.

Benson said contractors and poor communication with the city is in part to blame and he is frustrated that the plant is now only allowed to operate at night after receiving violations.

The city of Adrian issued an order limiting hours of operation at the facility to 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. A hearing to discuss this issue is scheduled for May 2, 2023.

The document below was provided by Crimson Holdings and lists the steps the company has taken.

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.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.