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Trump Tower Trashes The Chicago River: A Blatant Disregard For The Environment

Trump Tower Trashes The Chicago River: A Blatant Disregard For The Environment

by Andrew Ciccone September 19, 2018

Not surprising to anyone, is yet another instance of our President’s blatant disregard for the environment. Trump International Hotel & Tower has been releasing millions of gallons of water without proper permits, nor any consideration of the impact on the Chicago River's aquatic life. 

The Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, has filed a suit against Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago. “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”, said Madigan. The Sierra Club and the Friends of the Chicago River have also announced plans to sue over the issue.

Trump Tower takes in almost 20 million gallons of Chicago River water daily, to cool its air conditioning, ventilation and heating systems. That's way more than other, similar skyscrapers in the city, reported by the Chicago Tribune.  

Buildings of the Trump Tower’s size are required by the Clean Water Act to submit a study on the impact of their intake systems on fish populations. This is because the fish get pulled into a cooling system or trapped by intake screens, resulting in death.


Open your mind to a sustainable ecosystems and sustainable farming. The Back To The Roots Water Garden Aquaponics Kit is a self cleaning fish tank that grows edible plants on the water’s surface. It's a perfect as a gift for any eco minded friend.

Trump’s disregard for the rule of law is troubling, Trump Tower has failed to secure a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Since August of 2017, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleges that Trump Tower has not renewed their now expired NPDES permit, and continues to release the heated water anyway into the Chicago River. The impact on the fish and aquatic life is devastating. 

Several states and conservation groups are legally challenging the Trump administration's two-year suspension on the Waters of the United States (WOTUS), rule which protects large water bodies like lakes and rivers (such as the Chicago River) as well as waterways such as streams, ponds and wetlands for federal protection.

New York State’s Attorney General and a coalition of attorneys generals from California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia have also challenged Trump’s move to dismantle The (WOTUS) Rule.

Environmentalists claim that the (WOTUS) suspension will allow uncontrolled pollution and destruction of our nation's rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands. It is now becoming clear that the Trump and his corporate raiders are waging war on the environment.

You can make some subtle, yet simple powerful changes to the way you use water everyday.

  • Stop the pollution of streams on your property by using only porous materials on your property such as gravel, paver stones, wood and other porous materials whenever possible. If a hard surface is unavoidable (say, in the case of a driveway), dig a shallow trench along the border and add plants or gravel to catch the runoff before it travels too far.
  • Never flush non degradable products, like baby wipes or plastic tampon applicators. These products are not biodegradable and do not break down, ultimately they wind up littering beaches and polluting our oceans. water. The same goes for your old prescription pills, bring them to a local pharmacy that has a take-back program.
  • Don't pour paint, used oil, chemical cleaners, or other questionable household products down the kitchen sink. go down the drain. Take the time to research the chemicals and cleaners you use around the house. Go to Earth911 or contact your local sanitation, public works, or environmental health department to learn how to properly dispose of toxic chemicals and what products are environmentally safe.  
  • While out walking the dog, bring a plant-friendly disposable pet-waste bag that is made from recycled biodegradable plastic to clean up after your dog does their business around the neighborhood. If you are not sure how to properly dispose of the waste, check with your local town ordinances.
  • Instead of washing the car in the driveway consider taking your car to a car wash that has eco-friendly wastewater drainage that is treated before being discharged into the sewer system. Don’t let your car’s leaking of oil, coolant, antifreeze, or other nasty liquids that are carried by rainwater down driveways or through parking lots and then seep into groundwater supplies.

The Trump Organization's business practices aren't any more environmentally friendly than the policies of President Trump. Trump clearly thinks he is above the law.

Just don’t tolerate any further abuse to our waterways. If you find any local business or home that is polluting our waters, contact your local environmental group or reach out to the Clean Water Network or the Waterkeeper Alliance.

Remember when we call pull together we can solve any problem, let’s take a stand on the war on our water. Tell the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to force industries to follow the rules, real change can happen.


Andrew Ciccone
Andrew Ciccone


Andrew Ciccone, VP Branding & Media Strategy - Andrew's long strange marketing trip began after graduating from Syracuse University with a BS in Marketing. Andrew then developed his marketing prowess when he moved to Madison Avenue big boys Young & Rubicam, Backer Spielvogel, and Grey Advertising. He went on to get a Masters in Corporate Communications from Baruch College, then went on to start his own agency in 2011 - Hudson Valley Public Relations. Andrew has earned a reputation for creative, smart, innovative campaigns that get results. Andrew's spare time is devoted to sailing regattas, family fun and film. To date he has penned four screenplays.

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