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Trump hotel in Chicago violated Illinois environmental laws, judge rules

An Illinois judge ruled that the Trump International Hotel in Chicago violated state environmental laws for using river water without a valid permit, according to multiple reports.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sophia Hall ruled that the hotel is responsible for violations of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and Illinois Pollution Control Board Regulations, according to court documents obtained by WGN9.

Hall did not set a penalty but said it would be addressed in subsequent hearing.

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The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in 2018 alleging that the hotel takes in more than 19 million gallons of Chicago River water per day and returns water at a higher temperature to the waterway, according to The Washington Post.

The hotel had obtained a permit to suck in the water for its air conditioning systems in 2017 but did not renew it, according to the newspaper. 

The attorney general's office is seeking a penalty for the hotel of $50,000 for the violations plus $10,000 every day until the issue is fixed. 

Trump’s attorney previously stated that the lawsuit is "politically motivated," but a spokeswoman for Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul (D) told the Post that, despite their happiness with Friday's ruling, “this does not conclude the litigation.”

“No one is exempt from compliance with the laws that protect Illinois’ environment and most valuable natural resources, and we will continue to seek to hold the defendants accountable for violations of state environmental laws that jeopardized the quality of the Chicago River,” Raoul said in a statement, the Chicago Tribune reported.

It is unclear when the next hearing will be and what the penalty will be for the hotel's reported violation.