The Dave Matthews Band has delighted audiences around the world for the past 15 years with its Grateful Dead-inspired musical stylings, infused with a passion for vigorously supporting various environmental causes. According to a civil complaint filed this week by the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the band's tour bus and its driver apparently shared a bit too much of the band several weeks ago as the bus passed over the Chicago River. The complaint, which was filed this week, states that on August 8, the Dave Matthews Band tour bus driver (Stefan A. Wohl) polluted the Chicago River by dumping liquid waste from the septic tank, effectively unleashing close to 800 pounds of human waste into the river as it passed over the Kinzie Street bridge. Additionally, a number of unsuspecting passengers riding on a vessel as part of a well-known architectural tour were sprayed with the raw sewage. While Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline says his department has videotape footage from nearby businesses showing the bus pass over the bridge at the time of the incident, the members of the Dave Matthews Band issued a statement this week noting "Our driver has stated that he was not involved in this incident".
The first link leads to an article from this week's venerable Chicago Sun-Times that talks about the complaint filed by the Illinois Attorney General against the band and its tour bus driver. The second link leads to another news report from NBC5 in Chicago that talks about the evidence gathered by the Chicago Police Department that links the bus to the scene of the alleged illegal sewage disposal. The third link leads to a news article from April 2004 from the Virginian Pilot that discusses the many laudatory contributions the band has made to environmental causes through the group's charitable foundation, Bama Works. The fourth link will take visitors to the official press release issued August 24 by the Illinois Attorney General's Office that spells out the exact nature of the alleged sewage dump and its ramifications for public health and the Chicago River. On a somewhat related note, the fifth link leads to a rather interesting article from the Howstuffworks website that provides a detailed answer to the question of how a toilet functions in a commercial airliner. The sixth and final link whisks visitors away to the homepage of the Friends of the Chicago River organization, which works to create new recreational opportunities along the river and to share in the environmental stewardship of this waterway. Visitors may be keen to find out that the organization is opening a river museum at the Michigan Avenue Bridge Towers in 2006.
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