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Illinois attorney general sues Trump Tower for river violations

By Ayenat Mersie

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois’ attorney general announced a lawsuit on Tuesday against Trump Tower in Chicago, alleging the violation of environmental laws and a threat to fish in the Chicago River.

The lawsuit filed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan in Cook County Circuit Court said the Trump International Hotel & Tower releases millions of gallons of water into the river each day in order to cool various systems in the building.

It also says the 92-story residential tower and hotel has failed to conduct federally mandated studies on the impact of the water’s release into the river, and that the water’s release poses a threat to aquatic life.

“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, a Democrat who has held the post since 2003, said in a news release.

The Trump Organization’s properties worldwide have come under increasing scrutiny since Republican Donald Trump was elected U.S. president in 2016. Trump resigned from the company, and appointed his sons Don and Eric to run his business in January 2017.

“We are disappointed that the Illinois Attorney General would choose to file this suit considering such items are generally handled at the administrative level,” a representative for the Trump Organization said in an email. “One can only conclude that this decision was motivated by politics.”

The Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club and Friends of the Chicago River said in June they intended to sue the Chicago Trump Tower over alleged violation of the U.S. Clean Water Act.

Sierra Club and Friends of the Chicago River representatives said they would work with the attorney general’s office.

(Reporting by Ayenat Mersie; Editing by Caroline Stauffer and Jonathan Oatis)

Sarah Jones

Listen to Sarah on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast here. Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump. Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Connect with Sarah on Post,  Mastodon @PoliticusSarah@Journa.Host, & Twitter.

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