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Illinois AG Sues, Says Trump Tower Ignores Clean Water Laws

Cooling with Chicago River waters requires permit, environmental impact report: suit
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2018 8:13 AM CDT
A giant banner from Greenpeace hangs on the side of Trump Tower in Chicago during a protest last year.   (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune via AP)
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(Newser) – Illinois' attorney general has announced a lawsuit accusing Trump Tower in Chicago of violating federal environmental laws through its use of the Chicago River in a move the Trump Organization claims is "motivated by politics." Per NBC News and the AP, the 92-story residential building and hotel pulls almost 20 million gallons of water daily from the river to cool heating and ventilation systems before releasing it back at temperatures 35 degrees higher. Despite environmental laws requiring studies on the impact, including on fish, the suit claims no results have been presented. It also notes the building's "National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit" expired nearly a year ago.

"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," AG Lisa Madigan, a Democrat not seeking re-election, says in a release. "I filed my lawsuit to make sure Trump Tower cannot continue violating the law." A rep for the Trump Organization tells Reuters "such items are generally handled at the administrative level," therefore "one can only conclude that this decision was motivated by politics." However, Reuters reports both the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club and Friends of the Chicago River announced in June that they planned to sue; they will now work the attorney general's office. (Read more Illinois stories.)

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