Illinois Sues Trump Hotel Over River Pollution

CHICAGO (CN) – President Donald Trump may have issues with Chicago when it comes to gun violence and immigration, but the Illinois attorney general claims his namesake hotel has no problem with polluting the city’s river.

Illinois AG Lisa Madigan sued the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Cook County Circuit Court on Monday, looking to stop several alleged violations of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act involving its HVAC system.

The luxury hotel and condominium building, located on the Chicago River, draws almost 20 million gallons of water from the river each day to cool it, pumping about the same amount back in.

“The system results in the release of thermal process wastewater in the form of heated effluent into the Chicago River,” the state’s complaint says.

The permit to operate the HVAC system expired last year and the state says the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has not approved its renewal, with the application being submitted 82 days late.

Trump International Hotel & Tower has allegedly kept on discharging heated sewage into the river anyway.

The building has also never complied with regulations requiring that it “minimize harm to fish and to other aquatic organisms,” according to the lawsuit.

According to the Associated Press, the tower is the only high rise using river water that refuses to limit the number of fish trapped or killed by its water intake system, and has not performed any studies on the fish in question.

Illinois seeks an injunction forcing the building to cease operating its HVAC system until it has the proper permits and can be configured to minimize danger to the 30 types of fish in the river.

The hotel has seen its share of troubles since the president took office, becoming the site of numerous protests.

Condo sales in the building have also been sliding despite being advertised on the company’s website as “the most spectacular condominiums in all of Chicago.”

Sixteen, the Michelin-starred restaurant on the sixteenth floor closed earlier this year, with former employees blaming the Trump name for a decrease in business.

Trump International Hotel & Tower did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment.

The Illinois attorney general also filed a complaint against the building in 2012 for failure to obtain a permit to release heated water into the river, which was settled when the permit was issued.

“Trump Tower continues to take millions of gallons of water from the Chicago River every day without a permit and without any regard to how it may be impacting the river’s ecosystem,” Madigan said in a statement. “I filed my lawsuit to make sure Trump Tower cannot continue violating the law.”

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