Waterkeeper News: Triumph Foods should have had an EIS done instead of an EIA

Editor’s note: On very, very short notice, Art Norris agreed to represent the counties of Henry and Rock Island at the April 16 Creating the Rock River Trail Conference, held at the Best Western Clock Tower Resort Conference Center & CoCo Key Water Resort. Everyone working on the project offers our happy thanks, and welcomes him to a regular column in The Rock River Times. Mr. Norris actually takes a public stand, and undertakes public action to affect public policy on the environment, unlike too many comfortably hiding in the “Green Fashionista” safe zone, while they expect others to act. Please make the calls and e-mails he requests. The effort just takes an instant in a lifetime, and Mother Nature needs you.

By Art Norris
Quad Cities Waterkeeper (QCW)

This was another trying week for our environment. I would like to say I am so sorry for all those affected by flooding or the Gulf oil spill.

I also have a correction in last week’s editorial. I was speaking about Triumph Foods, and I had a type error. Triumph Foods plans on slaughtering 16,000 hogs a day on the Rock River, not 1,600.

Last week we were talking about an EIA versus an EIS. Please see the definition below. Triumph Foods’ proposed site should have had an EIS done instead of an EIA, and still should. Let me tell you why. This location is around residents with shallow wells and is located on the Rock River. The Rock River is a main tributary to the Mississippi that supplies drinking water for more than 18 million people. An EIS would have required detailed documentation that would have fully assessed this project’s impacts. An EIS would have protected the public, because it would have had to take into consideration that Tyson Fresh Meats is dumping 3 million pounds of toxic chemical waste into the Rock River yearly. Environment Illinois also reported in a report called, “Wasting Our Waters,” Tyson Fresh Meats is Illinois’s largest reported polluter of toxic chemicals in 2007—and the twelfth largest nationally.

Please call the Rock Island Corps of engineers and demand an EIS be done of the Triumph Foods proposed slaughterhouse site, not an EIA.

Here’s a Web site for more information: http://www.environmentillinois.org/reports/clean-water/clean-water-program-reports/wasting-our-waters-toxic-industrial-pollution-and-the-unfulfilled-promise-of-the-clean-water-act


EIA = Environmental Impact Assessment (also EA) = initial step of an environmental analysis that identifies, interprets and predicts impacts and suggests potential mitigations and alternatives

EIS = Environmental Impact Statement = detailed documentation required to fully assess project impacts where an EIA has determined that the project is likely to have significant or highly controversial environmental impacts.

Let’s talk about Iowa a bit.

Tom Saul The Quad-City Times | Posted: Friday, Dec. 12, 2008 12 a.m.


This article reports that the DNR identified 445 rivers, streams and lakes across the state on the draft list released Thursday that are polluted, and are in need of water quality improvement plans. That number is up from the 225 water bodies that were listed by the state in 2006. So, in just two years, 220 rivers, streams, and lakes have became polluted. It also said the number of impaired waterways on a draft list prepared by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources climbed ever higher this year.

So why doesn’t Illinois have nearly as bad a problem, you may ask. It may if Triumph Foods comes to East Moline, and here is why.

The pigs of Iowa


Lowell Monke reports at any one time, there are between 14 and 15 million hogs in Iowa. That’s about seven times as many pigs as people living in the state. Which brings QCW to this below article.

FACT: According to a study of Dr Mark Sobsey, Kenan Distinguished University Professor of environmental sciences and engineering at the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health and director of the School’s Environmental and Virology and MicrobiologyLaboratory, mark_sobsey@unc.edu, a hog produces 10 times the fecal waste of a human.

So take 15 million hogs, times 10 times the waste of humans. We are talking about the waste of 150 million people in the state of Iowa. Then you take into consideration the human waste on top of that. You are talking almost as much waste in one state as half of the whole country. Do you want this for Illinois and your Rock River? So you wonder why Iowa’s waters are listed as 85 percent impaired?

It bothers QCW that some say I cost jobs by trying to stop the expansion of the industrialized hog industry. I don’t feel this is farming and this costs jobs. Please read below.

Smithfield Slaughterhouse came to North Carolina, and just read what happened.


There are now approximately 2,500 industrial swine facilities raising 10 million hogs in North Carolina’s coastal plain. This is a radical change from conditions that existed prior to the mid-1980s. Then, there were approximately 24,000 family farmers raising a little over 2 million hogs.

Please go below and check this photo out of the Cafos that located on the Neuse River after Smithfield Slaughterhouse located there. This could be your Rock River.


Please call or write Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack at either http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&-contentid=bios_vilsack.xml,
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.,
Washington, DC 20250 or (202) 720-2791

Please make a call to Sen. (D-IL) Richard ‘Dick’ J. Durbin’s Office

Phone: (202) 224-2152

District phone: (312) 353-4952

Please Make a call to US Congressman Phil Hare

Phone: (217) 854-2290. Fax: (217) 854-2261

Just say “no” to Triumph Foods loan.

Sincerely, Art Norris

Quad Cities Waterkeeper

Contact Art Norris at http://quadcitieswaterkeeper-uppermississippi.org/ or quadcitieswater-keeper@gmail.com

From the May 26-June 1, 2010 issue

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