DMB Pay for Bus Dumping

Band fromts Chicago money while investigation continues

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Dave Matthews Band is donating $50,000 to both the Friends of the Chicago River and the Chicago Park District as investigations continue into allegations that the group's tour bus dumped human waste into the river and onto a passing tour boat.

"We have been working with Chicago authorities to resolve our questions about the bus incident," reads a statement from the band. "Those authorities have graciously cooperated. Unfortunately we still do not have a definitive understanding of what happened and are continuing to investigate the matter. However, we are not comfortable with the time it is taking us, and we have decided to take action now even though it may turn out the incident was not caused by one of our buses. We simply want to begin the healing process."

The city filed suit against the band and its driver in August, charging them with violating water pollution and public nuisance laws, and seeking $70,000 in damages.

"This incident may be unique," Attorney General Lisa Madigan said at the time, "but that does not lessen the environmental or public health risks posed by the release of at least 800 pounds of liquid human waste into a busy waterway and onto a crowded tour boat."

Dave Matthews Band maintains that the driver, who has since been suspended by the group, was the only person on the bus during the time in question, and he maintains that he did not dump the waste. "This incident has been especially troubling for the Dave Matthews Band family and we appreciate your patience as we work through it," the statement continues. "What happened to the people on the boat is awful and it goes against so many principles we hold dear: environmentalism, accountability, and, mostly, principles of humanity. We will continue to fight for these principles, and seek to live up to the values they represent."

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