DMB Pays Out

The Dave Matthews Band is nearer to shuffling off its association with the waste dump incident in Chicago last summer. After donating $200,000 to an environmental fund and taking measures to avoid a repeat of the incident, DMB will not need to plead guilty.

The band has already donated $100,000 in response to an unauthorized disposal of human waste. One of its tour bus drivers released the content of the bus’ septic tank over the Chicago River, dousing a tour boat and many of its passengers.

The $200k donation settles a state lawsuit and includes a provision that will make it harder for the tour boat operator and at least one of its passengers to use the settlement in their own pending lawsuits, according to Newsday.

“This settlement is reasonable and appropriate given the public and environmental health threats caused by this foul incident,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said.

Also, the band will keep track of its waste disposal while in Illinois for the next five years.

The band is preparing for a summer tour and would certainly like to have the Chicago incident done with. DMB has had a longstanding association with environmental causes and that image probably helped fuel the media’s attention. The band is also getting ready to promote its second Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies, which asks its consumers to “lick global warming.”

Bus driver Stefan Wohl recently pleaded guilty to reckless conduct and discharging contaminants to cause water pollution. He was subsequently fired by the band and has been sentenced to 18 months probation and 150 hours community service, and fined $10,000.

“Although the band members were not on the bus when the incident took place, we have always said that if it was our bus, we would take responsibility for what happened,” DMB spokesman John Vlautin said. “That is exactly what we’re doing today.”

Most reports claim the bus in question – which was the private bus for violinist Boyd Tinsley – had a 100-gallon septic tank, which equaled 800 pounds of human waste. The actual size is 30 gallons, which equates to a dispersal of 240 pounds of waste.