Demand that a EIS be done!!



Quad City Times responds 12-12-06 with an article today.

Look under news business section.

Thank You QC Times. Q-CAT

Pork-plant opponents launch Web site

By The Quad-City Times | Tuesday, December 12, 2006

(0) Comments | Rate this article | Default | Large

Opponents of East Moline’s hog-processing plant project have launched a Web site.

Information about why the Quad-Cities Citizens Against Triumph group is against the project led by Missouri-based Triumph Foods, is posted online at

Triumph plans to break ground this summer at the site along Barstow Road in East Moline.


I recieved a response from the Dispatch and the Argus December 11.

You make your own judgement as to if they will let the public know about this site?

No word from the Times yet, but I heard my contact was gone for the moment.

 Thank you

Sincerely, Art Norris


Dear Art,

I'm not an editor, but I'm forwarding your e-mails to Rock Island Argus
managing editor Roger Ruthhart, at [email protected], and The
Dispatch managing editor Russ Scott, [email protected] You can send
future e-mails to those addresses as well.

I noticed that you sent these e-mails to the Dispatch/Argus and others.
I was wondering if you were also or already had sent these e-mails to
the Quad-City Times.


Jenny Lee
Staff writer
The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus


Dear Mr. Norris,

Thanks for taking the time to e-mail us regarding The Dispatch and The Rock
Island Argus coverage of the Triumph pork plant. We believe our coverage has
been (and will continue to be) complete, fair and balanced.

Our staff is encouraged to include with all stories links where readers can
find additional information about an issue. I have reminded our staff to
include the web page addresses of your organization, the city, Triumph
Foods, and other pertinent sources when possible. That does not mean that
any or all will appear with every item we run concerning this (or any other)

Again, thanks for taking the time to e-mail us.

Roger Ruthhart
Managing Editor
The Rock Island Argus


Saturday, December 9, 2006




To the Editors of the Moline Dispatch/Rock Island Argus and the Quad Cities Times:


Pursuant to the United States Constitution, we are to have in this country a free press. It is therefore your duty to the citizens to whom you report the news that you report it in a fair, balanced and truthful manner. As you can see from the e-mail below which was received by our website just this week from a Moline resident, there are those in the Quad Cities who do not believe that the two local newspapers are reporting the truth about the Triumph hog plant issue, i.e., about the negative affects that accompany this industry. Apparently there are, however, newspapers in the surrounding areas which are not ham-strung by the politics that dominate the Quad Cities, and are therefore willing to print the truth about this issue. They embody the very essence of a “free press”. In fact, just today the Media Representative for Q-CAT (Quadcities Citizens Against Triumph), Mrs. Dawn Marner, was interviewed by the Galesburg Register Mail for half an hour. An article will be forthcoming from that interview, as well as the mention of Q-CAT’s web address –, unlike your two newspapers which have kept the site’s address conspicuously missing from your respective publications.


At this time, I ask that you both respond to this e-mail and state the date it was sent to you. Perhaps the failure by both papers to print our web address in the articles in your papers about last Monday night’s East Moline City Council meeting was an oversight. If so, you have the opportunity now to correct it. You/your reporters have looked at this website, received from us printed material about Triumph Foods/Seaboard Foods, CEO Rick Hoffman, the proposed hog plant and the hog industry in general; and lastly, done a number of interviews with us, the opponents. You know the truth and you know your responsibilities to the public.  Now demonstrate it by what you do next.




Art Norris, Environmental Liaison

Quadcities Citizens Against Triumph (Q-CAT)




E-mail from Moline resident to Q-CAT website, received 12/8/06


Grateful to know the truth: Thank you so much Q-CAT and its webmasters for getting this information out to us. We have obviously been lied to (by omission) and sold out by our officials in every city of the Illinois Quad Cities except Silvis. I for one, will express how I feel about that at the next election. It also appears that the area press has purposely left us in the dark as well, or at least not provided us with any facts against the plant. Perhaps it is time for someone to seriously consider starting a new newspaper in this area, one that will engage in fair, unbiased and balanced distribution of the news. I live in Moline and originally thought the plant would be good for the area, but I can now see because of your website that it would be the worst thing ever to happen to our community. Our community leaders should be voted out of office for getting us into this! Thank you Silvis aldermen for the insight and courage you displayed last spring, and again, thank you Q-CAT and your webmasters for opening our eyes to the truth. You are to be commended.




Article provided by

Progressive Action for the Common Good

Good Job Molly :-)



SomeTriumph Foods Union Workers Say Contract is Unfair and Biased
( Date Posted: 5/16/2006 )

Local laborers with Triumph Foods go on the record tonight to complain about what they call "preferential treatment" for their fellow hispanic employees who number 800 strong. That`s according to one company higher-up who fears retribution if named.

"They don`t want you to know what`s really going on down there. I`ll tell you what`s going on down there. It`s b.s. This is a union town and we should have had a better contract than this."

A Triumph fFods employee we`ll call Renee says her union contract is unfair. She fears losing her job if she goes on camera, but wants St. Joseph to know her beef with the pork processing plant.

"There`s 80 percent Mexicans down there, 20 percent white people. The Mexicans are getting sign-on bonuses; we`re getting nothing," Renee says.  She claims preferential treatment of hispanic employees. A Triumph recruiter who wishes to remain unnamed, says that`s just not true. She says Triumph recruits anyone, so long as they are skilled laborers.  Another Triumph employee we`ll call Maria, says money is the bottom line.

"I was told by a trainer, a mexican trainer, he said straight up that our supervisor wanted a line full of mexican people because they will come in, they won`t argue, and they don`t care about pay raises," Maria says.
"Some of the people that come into the plant that are hispanic people, they categorize them as gold, silver or platinum, and for example, a platinum person, after they are there for 60 days, they get a $500 signing bonus. Where`s our bonus?" Renee says.

One hispanic family, who was also afraid to go on camera, told KQ2 that Triumph gave them $150 for gas money to drive up from Texas. Renee says the company also buses hispanic workers.
"They bus from Omaha, Iowa, Sioux City. I mean, we have tags in the parking lot from Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, Mexico; I`ve seen Mexico tags out there," Renee says.

Renee and Maria both admit it`s a dirty job but say plenty of locals want to do it.  "There`s a lot of people in this town that I know have experience that have been turned down even after an interview," Renee says.

But Hispanic workers say the locals who apply either can`t stand the smell or can`t seem to pass a drug test, a problem even the St. Joseph Area Chamber of Commerce says is true throughout the area.

"There`s a huge, huge percentage of people who simply cannot pass the most minimal of drug tests, and companies are getting more and more sophisticated in how they test for it," Cyndra Lorey, vice-president of community development, says.  Still, the Triumph recruiter denies that Hispanics get preferential treatment. But, inside the workers` union contract under Article Four, Section Three, the contract states:

"The company will grant excused time off, without pay for up to seven days for employees who have personal proceedings with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service."  KQ2 contacted Immigration and Customs Services, or ICE.  While American citizens have three days to prove citizenship, an ICE official over the phone says that language in the contract sounds like a labor issue. KQ2 is waiting a call back from the National Labor Board.

Triumph employees also tell KQ2 of two separate ICE raids at the plant, but our immigration contact says he has no record of any arrests.  One footnote to this story., the high interest in who`s being hired at Triumph Foods stems in part from the pork plants promise to bring 1,100 local jobs while petitioning for TIF money.

Our source says they`ve come close. With 1,800 on the payroll, 1,000 are locals. 

Still, current St. Joseph City Council member Barbara LaBass was on the TIF committee back then. She tells KQ2 she felt pressured to vote in favor of the TIF because of the need for jobs, but if voting today, she says she would vote no.

Cell Phone Protection

                        Cell Phone Protection

   JUST A REMINDER....8 days from today, all cell phone numbers
are  being  released to telemarketing companies and you will start to
 receive  sale  calls.
 this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222. It is the 
National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years.



Article September 5th 2006

E.M. mayor denies anti-Triumph man chance to speak at council meeting


By Jenny Lee

Quad-Cities Online

September 5, 2006


EAST MOLINE -- East Moline Mayor John Thodos refused to let a pork-plant opponent speak at Monday's City Council meeting.


Activist Art Norris stood up to talk to the aldermen during the five minutes designated for audience participation at the council meeting, but Mayor Thodos swiftly interrupted Mr. Norris, saying he had allowed Mr. Norris to pass out a photocopied letter voicing concerns about animal factory farms.


In the past, Mayor Thodos had let vocal pork-plant opponents talk to aldermen at meetings. This time, Mayor Thodos questioned Mr. Norris, who lives in unincorporated Rock Island County, east of Triumph Foods' proposed pork-plant site at 172nd Street North and Barstow Road, East Moline. Mr. Norris is a member of a group called, Quad-Cities Citizens Against Triumph.


"You don't live in East Moline," Mayor Thodos told Mr. Norris. "You live in the county."


Mr. Norris protested.


Straining his neck, Mayor Thodos asked, "Are there any East Moline residents to address the City Council?"


Hearing nobody else, Mayor Thodos promptly moved on to the next item on the agenda. Mr. Norris walked out of the room.


Outside the council chambers, Mr. Norris said he pays East Moline taxes. Besides his home, he owns property on 16th Avenue in East Moline. He said he believes an environmental impact study should be done before the project begins.


After the council meeting, Mayor Thodos acknowledged that he had let Mr. Norris speak at meetings before. But much of Mr. Norris' discussion was usually "anti-Triumph," the mayor said.


"We know what Norris has to say," Mayor Thodos said. "It's unfair to us to show up five minutes before the meeting and pass out literature and expect us to discuss it."


Mr. Norris passed out copies of a letter written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., president of Waterkeeper Alliance. The Irvington, N.Y., group is against animal factory farms, or large-scale farms.


Opponents fear a pork processing plant would encourage hog farmers to set up facilities in the area, bringing concerns that waste from farms could contaminate groundwater. Triumph and city officials have said the area would not have an increase in large-scale hog farms because the company would process hogs reared by its owners.


Triumph wants to build a 620,000-square-foot pork plant in East Moline that would have the capacity to process 16,000 hogs a day. In June, Gov. Rod Blagojevich granted Triumph $16 million in credits, exemptions and grants as part of Opportunity Returns.


Mr. Norris said he believes the $16 million should be used to repair the city's water and sanitary-sewer systems. Two months ago, the city proposed raising water and sewer rates to pay for about $38 million in improvements to the water and sanitary-sewer systems.


Article Septemebr 20th 2006

Pork-plant foes seek environmental study


By Amy Thon

Quad-Cities Online

September 20, 2006

Illinois, US


EAST MOLINE -- A group of local residents has joined forces with two national environmental agencies to ask the Army Corps of Engineers to complete a comprehensive environmental study of the proposed pork-processing plant.


The coalition, called Quadcities Citizens Against Triumph (Q-CAT), has support from the Sierra Club and the Waterkeeper Alliance in its efforts to keep Triumph from building a $135 million, 620,000-square-foot pork-processing plant at 172nd Street North and Barstow Road, East Moline.


"We demand a full (environmental impact statement) be done," said Dawn Marner, media representative for the coalition. "This is huge for our community. This is not just a Barstow Road issue."


A spokesman with the Corps said it is too premature to make a decision on whether an environmental impact statement, or EIS, is necessary because it hasn't yet received the application from Triumph to determine whether a permit is necessary.


The plant would employ more than 1,000 and eventually would have the capacity to slaughter and process 16,000 hogs a day. Construction could begin next year and the plant could open in 2009.


In a letter to John Betker, regulatory project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the group states its reasons for requesting the impact statement:


"There are significant environmental concerns about the construction and operation of the proposed plant. Its intended site on the Rock River floodplain presents the risk of unacceptable loss of this critical resource, and the probability that hundreds of new Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) will be built within the three-state region surrounding, and providing animals to the proposed site, will likely create pollution problems of an unprecedented scope for the region."


If a project will impact U.S. waterways or tributaries, including wetlands, the Corps could be required to issue a permit before it moves forward.


"In this case there are wetlands out there. There may be water of the United States that could be affected," Mr. Betker said.


At this point, Triumph hasn't filed a complete application, so the Corps has not made a decision on whether a permit will be necessary, Mr. Betker said.


"We have no plans on the building or any site plans," he said.


If the Corps determines the project needs a permit, the EIS could be part of the permit process.


The EIS is a disclosure process the looks at all of the possible public interest factors of the project and looks for alternatives, Mr. Betker said.


With each permit that is issued, the Corps must decide whether the project will have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. To help make that decision, an environmental impact statement can be done, Mr. Betker said.


"When there are other impacts or large impacts that might affect the quality of the human environment, then you have to make a decision whether to write an EIS," Mr. Betker said. "It's a federal decision."


The Corps follows regulatory guidelines under the National Environmental Policy Act to determine whether an EIS is necessary. Factors like economics, water quality, pollution, noise and traffic are considered, Mr. Betker said.


"We consider public input in that decision process," he said. "We also consider all the different reasons and factors why they may think an EIS is necessary."


The Corps, however, has to be consistent with other developments in the area and other developments in the nation, he said. They will look at whether an EIS was written for similar projects.


"(The Corps) can go through an EIS process and still issue a permit," Mr. Betker said. "It's not a yes or no document. It's a disclosure document."


"We haven't seen any applications. We haven't had any discussions with them about alternatives to avoid the impacts," Mr. Betker said. "We're way premature at this time in making any kind of decision on this kind of action."


Art Norris, environmental liaison for the Q-CAT coalition, said an EIS would hold Triumph accountable for any future environmental problems.


"We want to protect our river," he said. "We aim to fight."





June 1, 2006 Cheryle Jackson 312/814.3158 (office)

Abby Ottenhoff 312/814.3158 (office)

Rebecca Rausch 217/782.7355 (office)

Gerardo Cardenas 312/814.3158 (office)

Andrew Ross 312/814.8193 (DCEO)

Jerry Lehenbauer 816/396.2802 (Triumph)



State Support Will Help Bring at Least 1,000 New Jobs to the Quad Cities

CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the awarding of almost $16 million in Opportunity Returns support for Triumph Foods, a pork processing company headquartered in St. Joseph, Missouri, to locate a new, state-of-the-art processing plant in East Moline. The project will create an estimated 350 new jobs by 2009 and a total of 1,000 new jobs by 2010. The investment package comes as a part of Opportunity Returns, the Governor’s comprehensive economic development strategy to create jobs and build the economy in Northwest Illinois. “We are always looking for opportunities to attract new companies and new jobs to Illinois. Triumph Foods is investing $135 million to build this state-of-the-art facility that will eventually bring at least 1,000 new jobs to Northwest Illinois. This is the largest regional economic development project in many, many years, and it is another strong signal of the economic progress we are making here. By investing in companies that are investing in Illinois, we are also helping people build better lives,” Gov. Blagojevich said.

Triumph Foods is investing $135 million to build the 620,000 square foot plant, which will be located on 116 acres in East Moline. Construction is expected to begin the spring of 2007 with occupancy anticipated by the first quarter of 2009. The new plant will be a pork processing facility only, with no hog confinement planned. The plant will feature innovative, new automated processes to address negative community impacts traditionally associated with pork processing facilities.

“With its large, available workforce, central location and great road and air access, the Quad Cities region is an excellent fit for us and was the best choice for our new, state-of-the art processing plant. The decision was also made easier because of the strong state and local partnership that exists here, so I want to thank Gov. Blagojevich and all of the local partners who helped make this a reality for us,” said Rick Hoffman, CEO of

Triumph Foods.



March 16, 2006 Cheryle Jackson 312/814.3158 (office)

Abby Ottenhoff 312/814.3158 (office)

Rebecca Rausch 217/782.7355 (office)

Gerardo Cardenas 312/814.3158 (office)

Andrew Ross 312/814.8193 (DCEO)




CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $67,000 in planning grants that will help communities across Northwest Illinois improve their water, sewer and sanitation infrastructure. This aggressive effort to improve the quality of infrastructure and public facilities comes as a part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative,  his comprehensive, pro-active strategy for restoring economic opportunity to the Northwest region.

“Investing in our infrastructure is critical to securing a stronger and brighter future for our state. These planning grants will help build more vibrant, livable communities across Northwest Illinois that are better equipped to attract investment and support business growth and retention. Community by community, we’ll continue working on the frontlines to expand economic opportunity and create a better quality of life for our working families,” Gov. Blagojevich said.

The funds for this initiative are part of the Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP), a federally-funded grant program that assists Illinois communities by providing grants to local governments to help them in financing economic development, public facilities and housing rehabilitation projects. The program is targeted to assist low-to-moderate income people by creating job opportunities and improving the quality of their living environment. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) administers the program.

“Northwest Illinois is an outstanding place to live and work, but we must continue to enhance our public infrastructure to enhance economic opportunity. These grants will help upgrade the region’s infrastructure, which will mean more business growth and new jobs down the line. Gov. Blagojevich and I believe this is another great example of how, by working together, we can help Northwest Illinois reach its economic potential,” said State Senator Mike Jacobs (D-East Moline).

“Gov. Blagojevich and I believe that creating greater economic opportunity begins with strengthening the core foundation of our communities. By providing these Opportunity Returns grants, communities throughout the region will be able to make essential improvements to their infrastructure, which means a better economic climate for this entire region,” said State Rep. Mike Boland (D-Moline).


“This Opportunity Returns grant is a great example of how innovative partnerships between state and local government can accomplish key objectives that make an immediate and tangible impact in individual communities. These are investments that will improve the foundation of our region and position it for more vigorous economic growth down the road," said State Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley).

Gov. Blagojevich has developed the following objectives for the CDAP program:

• Strengthen community economic development through the creation of jobs, stimulation of private investment and strengthening the tax base;

• Improvement of public infrastructure and elimination of conditions which are detrimental to health, safety and public welfare; and

• Conservation and expansion of the state's housing stock in order to provide a decent home and a suitable living environment for persons of low-to-moderate income and the developmentally disabled.

The CDAP Planning Assistance grants may be used for a variety of planning activities that are construction oriented and focus on the needs of low-to-moderate income persons in the community. Eligible planning activities include: studies, data gathering analyses, preparation of specific plans and identification of implementing actions. Planning projects that address problems of a health and safety nature, such as water and sewer problems, are a funding priority under this component.

The Northwest region’s grantees are:

Village of Apple River Study wastewater treatment system, develop action plan 24,000

Jo Daviess City of Oglesby Prepare facility plan for wastewater treatment 20,000

LaSalle City of Savanna Study sanitary sewer system, develop action plan 23,000

Carroll Total: $67,000

“The greatest strength of Gov. Blagojevich’s regional approach to economic development is that it allows us to focus on the unique needs of individual communities, and target our assistance to specific projects that local leaders have identified as being critical to economic revitalization. These grants are a great example of this idea at work, and will allow vast improvements to be made where they are needed the most,” DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.

Gov. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns regional economic development strategy is the most aggressive, comprehensive approach to creating jobs in Illinois’ history. Since a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development just doesn’t work, the Governor has divided the state into 10 regions – each with a regional team that is empowered and expected to rapidly respond to opportunities and challenges. Opportunity Returns is

about tangible, specific actions to make each region more accessible, more marketable, more entrepreneurial and more attractive to businesses. It is about upgrading the skills of the local workforce, increasing the access to capital, opening new markets, improving infrastructure, and creating and retaining jobs. Opportunit Returns is about successfully partnering with companies and communities, both large and small, to help all of Illinois reach its economic potential.

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