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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | October 9, 2012
A dispute that started three years ago when environmentalists accused an Eastern Shore chicken farm and one of the nation's largest poultry companies of polluting a stream that ultimately flows to the Chesapeake Bay comes to a head Tuesday in a Baltimore federal courtroom. The trial, expected to last up to three weeks, begins in the Waterkeeper Alliance's lawsuit against Berlin farmers Alan and Kristin Hudson and Perdue Farms, the Salisbury-based company for whom the Hudsons raised birds.
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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2014
How far can state officials go in blocking public access to records showing how Maryland farms are doing at reducing their pollution of the Chesapeake Bay? That's the question the state's top court is weighing after recent oral arguments in Annapolis. It's the latest chapter in a seven-year legal struggle pitting the Waterkeeper Alliance against the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Maryland Farm Bureau. Maryland farmers are required under a 1998 law to report to the state every year on how they are limiting their use of animal manure and chemicals to fertilize their crops.
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By Richard F. Colburn | November 29, 2011
It is true that there are at least two sides to every story, including the situation of Gov. Martin O'Malley entering into the ongoing case between the University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic and the Hudson family of Worcester County and Perdue Farms. I have to wonder, has the Environmental Law Clinic only looked at one side of this story? I also have to wonder if the Maryland taxpayer would only look at one side. Since it seems as though only one side of the story is being told, in The Baltimore Sun and elsewhere, let's examine the facts of the other side of the story.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | August 27, 2013
A federal judge on Tuesday denied a bid by poultry producer Perdue and an Eastern Shore farmer to make the Waterkeeper Alliance pay more than $3 million in attorneys' fees for its failed lawsuit alleging that the company and its contract grower were polluting a Chesapeake Bay tributary. Judge William M. Nickerson concluded that while he believed the New York-based environmental group had mishandled preparation of its case, that did not merit the rare sanction of making the losing alliance pay the other side's attorneys.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2012
Testimony wrapped up Wednesday in the federal court trial of a lawsuit accusing an Eastern Shore poultry farm and Perdue of polluting a Chesapeake Bay tributary, but a ruling isn't likely until later this year. After 10 days of hearing witnesses and legal arguments, U.S. District Court Judge William M. Nickerson directed lawyers for the Waterkeeper Alliance, Berlin farmers Alan and Kristin Hudson and the Sallisbury-based poultry company to submit post-trial statements by Nov. 14, with responses due a week later.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2014
How far can state officials go in blocking public access to records showing how Maryland farms are doing at reducing their pollution of the Chesapeake Bay? That's the question the state's top court is weighing after recent oral arguments in Annapolis. It's the latest chapter in a seven-year legal struggle pitting the Waterkeeper Alliance against the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Maryland Farm Bureau. Maryland farmers are required under a 1998 law to report to the state every year on how they are limiting their use of animal manure and chemicals to fertilize their crops.
NEWS
By TED SHELSBY | October 28, 2007
The often-delicate subject of the impact farmland runoff has on the Chesapeake Bay will be front and center at a summit this week on the Eastern Shore. The Waterkeeper Alliance, the sponsor of the event, points to agricultural runoff, most of which comes from poultry litter from Eastern Shore operations, as the primary source of pollution in the bay. Organizers say the event is aimed at highlighting efforts by the poultry industry to curb nutrient runoff, alternate uses for poultry litter, and legal, legislative and regulatory methods for reducing the amount of nutrients escaping from poultry litter into bay tributaries.
NEWS
January 6, 2012
There is no doubt who actually represents the 1 percent in the case Farrell Keough describes in his recent letter to the editor ("UMD law clinic sues on behalf of the 1 percent," Dec. 30). With more than $4.5 billion in revenue, Perdue Farms is one of the largest chicken and turkey producers in the world, processing and packing more than 3 billion pounds of poultry a year thanks to some 2,200 contracted poultry producers in about 15 states. Despite the benefit of these immense revenues, Perdue claims it bears no responsibility for the waste produced by the chickens it sells; instead, it takes the chickens, makes a profit, and tries to leave the growers with the mess.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,tim.wheeler@baltsun.com | May 22, 2009
The state has agreed to make builders do more to keep soil from washing off construction sites when it rains, settling a legal challenge contending that Maryland isn't doing enough to curb a growing source of pollution fouling streams and the Chesapeake Bay. Under the settlement, the Maryland Department of the Environment pledges to update within the next year its requirements for controlling erosion and sediment runoff from building sites. The department also agrees to give closer scrutiny to larger construction projects, requiring individual permits for any that clear more than 150 acres.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2012
A new trial date has been set for Oct. 9 in an environmental group's lawsuit accusing an Eastern Shore farm couple and Perdue Farms of polluting a Chesapeake Bay tributary. The case brought by the Waterkeeper Alliance was originally scheduled to begin this week in U.S. District Court, but was postponed by Judge William M. Nickerson to encourage the sides to try to reach a settlement. Perdue spokeswoman Julie DeYoung said in an email Wednesday that despite talks, "it does not appear the case will settle.
NEWS
By Tom Horton | April 1, 2013
Optimism might seem out of place after the Waterkeeper Alliance's bitter loss in a recent lawsuit to hold Perdue Farms and its grower Alan Hudson responsible for polluting waterways with poultry manure. But it's possible to at least be hopeful of solutions, perhaps within the current decade, to this widespread bay pollution. Reasons for hope were less likely when the lawsuit was filed three years ago. Witness a survey recently presented by University of Maryland ag scientist Kenneth Staver.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | March 23, 2013
Nobody asked me, but here are my six recommendations in the matter of the highly publicized, closely watched, widely criticized, rift-causing lawsuit brought by the Waterkeeper Alliance against the Hudson family poultry farm over alleged pollution in a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay on Maryland's Eastern Shore: •Everybody calm down, starting with the Maryland General Assembly. Already, the House of Delegates has authorized $300,000 — taxpayer dollars — for the legal fees of Alan Hudson, the farmer.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2013
The lawsuit may be over, but the bitter legal battle continues. Lawyers for poultry producer Perdue and an Eastern Shore farmer are asking a federal judge to award them more than $3 million in attorneys' fees and expenses from the Waterkeeper Alliance, the New York-based environmental group that failed to prove they were polluting a Chesapeake Bay tributary. Pointing to written comments by the deciding judge that were critical of the plaintiffs' motives and the strength of their case, the successful defendants contend they're justified in seeking reimbursement for a case they argued should never have gotten that far. "It's only fair," said Julie DeYoung, spokeswoman for the Salisbury-based company.
NEWS
By Joseph L. Kroart III | December 27, 2012
Last week, a federal judge in Baltimore issued a verdict in a lawsuit filed by an environmental group against an Eastern Shore farming family and Perdue. After nearly three years of litigation, Judge William Nickerson ruled that the evidence presented by the Waterkeeper Alliance did not demonstrate conclusively that contaminated water samples taken from the Pocomoke River could be traced to an adjacent poultry farm in Berlin owned by Alan and Kristin Hudson. The outcome was recognized by many as a victory for farmers and the poultry industry and as a setback for environmental groups interested in improving the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
NEWS
By Walter Olson | December 27, 2012
In a widely watched case on the Eastern Shore, federal judge William Nickerson ruled Thursday that Alan and Kristin Hudson's Berlin farm was not in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. The plaintiffs, the Waterkeeper Alliance led by controversial environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., had hoped to establish that big food processors, in this case Perdue Inc., could be held liable for the alleged pollution sins of "contract growers" like the Hudson...
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | December 20, 2012
Ruling in a bitterly contested case with national ramifications, a federal judge found Thursday that the Waterkeeper Alliance failed to prove that an Eastern Shore farm's chicken houses were polluting a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. U.S. District Court Judge William M. Nickerson declared in a 50-page opinion that the New York-based environmental group had not established in a two-week trial in October that waste from chicken houses owned by...
NEWS
November 20, 2011
Gov. Martin O'Malley joins a long list of political and agricultural leaders across the state who have voiced concern over the University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic and the Waterkeeper Alliance's litigation against Alan and Kristin Hudson of Berlin who raise chickens on their Worcester County farm ("O'Malley criticizes UMB for lawsuit," Nov. 18). The governor is correct in pointing out this unfair attack on a family farm represents an "ongoing injustice" and that the environmental law clinic and the Waterkeepers are pursuing "costly litigation of questionable merit.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | July 21, 2010
A federal judge has denied a bid by Perdue Farms and an Eastern Shore chicken grower to dismiss a lawsuit accusing them of polluting a Chesapeake Bay tributary, clearing the way for trial on the potentially pioneering legal case. Judge William M. Nickerson of the U.S. District Court in Baltimore ruled Tuesday that the lawsuit brought this year by the Waterkeeper Alliance could go forward, though he struck two environmental groups as plaintiffs on a technicality. The Waterkeeper Alliance, the Assateague Coastal Trust and Assateague Coastkeeper Kathy Phillips filed suit in March alleging that harmful levels of bacteria and nutrient pollution were flowing from a drainage ditch on a Worcester County farm into a branch of the Pocomoke River.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | November 30, 2012
Lawyers squared off one last time Friday in a packed Baltimore courtroom to wrap up the long-running trial of a bitterly contested pollution lawsuit with ramifications for water cleanup efforts and the poultry industry in Maryland and nationwide. Jane Barrett, the lawyer for the Waterkeeper Alliance, told U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson that the New York-based environmental group had amassed overwhelming evidence during more than two weeks of testimony in October that chicken manure from Alan and Kristin Hudson's farm near Berlin had washed into a drainage ditch that ultimately empties into the Pocomoke River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. But lawyers for the Hudsons and for Perdue countered that the environmental group had failed to make the case that the high levels of disease-causing bacteria found in the ditch came from chicken manure.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2012
Testimony wrapped up Wednesday in the federal court trial of a lawsuit accusing an Eastern Shore poultry farm and Perdue of polluting a Chesapeake Bay tributary, but a ruling isn't likely until later this year. After 10 days of hearing witnesses and legal arguments, U.S. District Court Judge William M. Nickerson directed lawyers for the Waterkeeper Alliance, Berlin farmers Alan and Kristin Hudson and the Sallisbury-based poultry company to submit post-trial statements by Nov. 14, with responses due a week later.
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