Donald Trump’s presidential run has opened the doors to some of his shadiest dealings as a real estate mogul, including fabricating stories to the press and tapping phones at one of his most popular estates, among many other things.
Now, the Daily Beast has released a report that indicates Trump dumped at least 24 million gallons of sewage per day into the Hudson River in the mid-1990s.
Decades before becoming the 2016 GOP Presidential nominee, businessman Trump acquired the Penn Central rail yards on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
He wanted to build a new apartment building mixed with a new NBC television studio on the land. He had intended for it to be the world’s tallest building at the time, reaching 154 stories overlooking the Hudson River and Central Park.
His plans, however, came to a halt as city officials were concerned about what would happen to the sewage the inhabited building would inevitably produce.
As of just a few years prior, the city of New York was still dumping sewage into the Hudson River. They eventually developed a sewage treatment plant that was designed to clean 170 million gallons of discharge each day, but because residents produced more than 200 million gallons, at least 30 million gallons were getting dumped into the river.
The Manhattan borough president at the time, Ruth Messinger, would not allow the building to go up without a proper sewage treatment solution for the five million gallons the structure was expected to produce daily.
After it seemed Trump’s dream had been shut down, 24 million gallons of the city’s sewage randomly disappeared. Messinger’s chief borough engineer, Rich Herschlag, said, “It was as if 150,000 Manhattanites just vanished.”
United States Attorney for Manahattan Mary Jo White began conducting an investigation into the case, but, Trump had friends in high places. Even Messinger, who launched a mayoral campaign that year, seemed to change her tune about him and came out in support of his new building.
White eventually dropped her investigation and never addressed the issue again.
Although Trump ultimately dumped his idea and sold the land to Chinese investors, no one knows what really happened to those 24 million gallons of sewage.
Herschlag maintains his theory that it was more than likely dumped into the river while city officials turned a blind eye.
One discrepancy Herschlag found that adds credence to his speculation is that there were two different sets of data that didn’t match — one that showed sewage collected in pipes and another that showed sewage entering the treatment plant.
He thinks someone altered the meter going into the plant, but forgot to fix the collection pipe meter to match.
While Herschlag’s theory remains unproven, it isn’t a very far-fetched idea. Trump is known for cutting corners and has no shame in lying for personal gain.
He also manipulates facts, as he has been called out for spreading false statistics about violence and terrorism in an attempt to use fear-mongering as a campaign strategy.
This is the underhanded man who is on the fast-track to the White House.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS/Jim Bourg