Two environmental groups plan to sue the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago citing, clean water violations directly in breach of a key Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule.
The Chicago chapter of the Sierra Club and the Friends of the Chicago River on Monday submitted an intent to sue, alleging that the hotel’s use of a cooling water intake structure that siphons water from the Chicago River was in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The group argues in its intent to sue that the hotel ownership failed to undertake necessary tests to determine how to minimize damage to aquatic life from its water intake system — an action mandated under the law. It raises concerns that the system likely “traps and kills fish and other wildlife” in this method.
“Donald Trump has repeatedly said ‘we want crystal-clean water, and we want clean air — the cleanest ever’ but his hotel has been negatively impacting the Chicago River for years,” said Jack Darin, chapter director of the Sierra Club in a statement.
The groups say the intake is a threat to recreation and to native fish species.
A joint venture between environmental groups and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has helped to reintroduce hundreds of thousands of native fish to the Chicago River since 2014 in an attempt to clean up and balance the river’s ecosystem. The initiative cost nearly $500,000.
It is those fish the group is most concerned about being harmed.
“These fish, and the multitudes of fish already in the river, are intended to take advantage of our public investment in cleaner water and improved habitat. Allowing the Trump International Hotel and Tower to continue to operate a system that traps and kills fish and other aquatic wildlife flies in the face of the momentum and investment surrounding a vibrant, healthy, revitalized Chicago River,” said Margaret Frisbie, executive director of Friends of the Chicago River.
BY MIRANDA GREEN – 06/18/18
The EPA and the Trump Hotel group did not respond to requests for comment.