27.8.04

SCHEISTENFREUDE? Bill at Atlantic Blog and Owen at Boots and Sabers have suitably caustic comments about the ownership of the bus that did an unauthorized tank-pumpout onto a sightseeing boat in the Chicago River.

Witnesses told authorities the deluge of waste came from a long black tour bus crossing the grated bridge. At least one witness gave police an Oregon license plate number.

Surveillance cameras at neighborhood businesses helped Madigan's investigators and Chicago police detectives trace the bus to Whol, a Texas man who is identified in the complaint as one of five drivers for the Dave Matthews Band, authorities said.

Whol was driving to pick up a band member at a Michigan Avenue hotel when the bus crossed the bridge, according to the three-count civil complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court. Later that evening, the band played the second of two shows at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wis.

A band publicist issued a statement Tuesday night saying, "Our driver has stated that he was not involved in this incident. We reserve any judgment until we see the evidence."

Luxury coaches like the ones leased by the band are equipped with 80- to 100-gallon waste tanks that are emptied underneath the vehicle by pushing a toggle switch behind the driver's seat, according to the attorney general's complaint.

In addition to seeking fines for violations of state laws, Madigan said she is asking the court to order an evaluation of the band's waste disposal practices. State officials said most charter buses dump waste at licensed disposal facilities."

This incident may be unique, 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," Madigan said in a statement. "This situation clearly demonstrates the environmental and public health problems that can occur when laws are ignored. This act was not only offensive, it was illegal."
Two wicked thoughts come to mind. First, is the Department of Transportation going to mandate new labels for the pumpout switches? (Drivers will please refrain from ...)

Second, as the Dave Matthews Band is shilling for Senator Kerry, can it be said that the Kerry campaign has used biological weapons on its own constituents?

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