Trump could be fined $12 million after an Illinois judge ruled his Chicago hotel violated a environmental protection law for 3 years

Trump chicago
A man walks by Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, Illinois, on March 21, 2020.

Former President Donald Trump’s Chicago hotel is improperly using water from the Chicago River to cool the building in violation of environmental protection regulations, a judge in Illinois ruled this week.

The ruling stems from a 2018 lawsuit against the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, The Washington Post reported. The Illinois attorney general had argued that Trump’s property used 19 million gallons of water each day from the Chicago River to cool the property and returned the water to the river at a warmer temperature.

The hotel had initially secured a permit that allowed it to cool the building in this way, but the permit expired in 2017 and was not renewed, according to the report, sparking more than three years of violations.

The Trump Organization, which owns and operates the Chicago hotel, did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

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Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sophia Hall, who decided the case, said a penalty would be decided at a future date.

According to the Washington Post, the office of the Illinois Attorney General had asked that the judge impose the maximum possible fines: $50,000 for two violations plus an additional $10,000 per day for each day the hotel continued to cool the building using water from the river.

With violations occurring since 2017, the former president’s hotel chain could be ordered to pay as much as $12 million in fines, The Chicago Tribune reported. It added, however, that fines that high were ultimately unlikely.

The lawsuit had first been filed by former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, but a spokesperson for current Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, in office since 2019, told The Washington Post he was happy with the judge’s ruling, adding he planned to “continue to seek to hold the defendants accountable for violations of Illinois’ environmental laws that jeopardized the quality of the Chicago River.”

The ruling in Chicago is just one in a series of legal battles that the former president faces now that he is out of office.

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