House amends budget bill for sued farmers

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -  

The Maryland House of Delegates has changed a budget bill to make up to $300,000 available to help a farm family pay its legal bills after it was sued for alleged pollution.
 
The amendment was accepted Wednesday.
 
Delegate Norman Conway, D-Wicomico, says the Hudson family was put under tremendous stress that should have ended with a decision by the Maryland Department of Environment. He says court battles carried the family almost to the brink of losing everything.
 
An environmental group alleged that chicken litter was being discharged from the Hudson Farm in Berlin into a tributary of the Pocomoke River. A federal judge tossed out the lawsuit in December, chastising the Waterkeeper Alliance for not conducting adequate sampling. The group was represented by the University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic.
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