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The state of Illinois accused the Trump International Hotel & Tower of jeopardizing the Chicago River’s aquatic life.
The company’s 98-story building next to the main branch of the Chicago River uses almost 20 million gallons of river water daily to cool its heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and then releases millions of gallons of heated water back into the river, according to a lawsuit by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. She said the company failed to study the impact of its operations on fish populations and didn’t get required permits, as required by the law.
“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.
“We are disappointed that the Illinois Attorney General would choose to file this suit considering such items are generally handled at the administrative level,” the Trump Organization said in a statement. “One can only conclude that this decision was motivated by politics.”
Madigan said the company didn’t submit study results to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. She noted that the federal Clean Water Act also regulates cooling water taken in by a structure because the process can draw a large volume of fish into a building’s cooling system.