Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago sparks environmental lawsuit, again 

Two environmental groups say the former president’s asset violated Clean Water Act

Northwestern's Rob Weinstock and former president Donald Trump with 401 North Wabash Avenue
Northwestern's Rob Weinstock and former president Donald Trump with 401 North Wabash Avenue (Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Getty, Google Maps)

Two environmental groups plan to file a lawsuit against the Trump Organization for the second time in five years.

The Sierra Club and Friends of the Chicago River plan to sue former president Donald Trump’s company, claiming that the Trump International Hotel & Tower at 401 North Wabash Avenue is in violation of the federal Clean Water Act, Crain’s reported

The groups served a notice of intent this week. They allege that the company went against the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System by underreporting the rate at which the building withdraws water from the Chicago River. 

The 92-story condo-hotel is able to use the river for its cooling system and dump heated water back into it since it holds an NPDES permit, which is authorized by the Clean Water Act. The Trump Organization has allegedly underreported its flow rates to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency by 44 percent over the past decade.

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“In the existing litigation, we’ve been looking at the environmental impacts of Trump Tower’s water withdrawal from the Chicago River and when our expert simply double-checked Trump Tower’s arithmetic, this inconsistency jumped off the page,” Rob Weinstock, director of the Environmental Advocacy Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and counsel to the plaintiffs, told the outlet.

The two organizations sued Trump for similar reasons in 2018, along with the Illinois attorney general’s office. The AG office filed the lawsuit after it was revealed that the Trump asset was the only riverside high-rise that failed to disclose its water intake system to state and federal authorities, the outlet said.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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