A federal judge ruled December 20 that Waterkeeper Alliance, a nonprofit environmental group, did not prove that poultry waste from a farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore had polluted drainage ditches which flow into Chesapeake Bay. The group announced on January 21, 2013, that it would not appeal the court’s decision.
Waterkeeper Alliance, which has more than 4,000 members in Maryland, had sued Alan Hudson and Perdue Farms, alleging that the poultry operation on Hudson's farm had polluted the Chesapeake Bay, a violation of the U.S. Clean Water Act. Hudson, of Berlin, MD, is a contract poultry producer for Perdue.
UM Carey Law's Environmental Law Clinic represented Waterkeeper in the suit, which was filed in 2010. Senior US District Judge William N. Nickerson presided over a 10-day trial in Baltimore which concluded November 30, 2012.
"Waterkeeper v. Hudson raised important legal issues about the protection of the Chesapeake Bay," said UM Carey Law Dean Phoebe A. Haddon. "Although Judge Nickerson ruled for the defendants, his opinion reaffirmed the importance of the Bay as a vital resource that remains seriously impaired."
The law school's Environmental Law Clinic was founded 25 years ago to protect the Chesapeake Bay. It is part of UM Carey Law's nationally recognized Clinical Law Program, which provides more than 110,000 hours of free legal services every year to Maryland residents on a range of legal issues, including health care, immigration, juvenile justice and family law.