BALTIMORE (AP) - A trial pitting environmentalists against an Eastern Shore farm and poultry giant Perdue Farms Inc. gets under way this week in federal court in Baltimore.
The Waterkeeper's Alliance claims Berlin-based Hudson Farm and Salisbury-based Perdue are polluting a waterway near the farm. Environmentalists and agriculture interests each say the trial that begins Tuesday could have far-reaching impact. Farm groups have said the suit could bankrupt the Hudson Farm and set a harmful precedent for other family farms. Environmentalists say poultry giants such as Perdue should be held responsible for pollution by their contract growers.
The University of Maryland's environmental law clinic is representing the alliance in the bench trial. That has prompted criticism of the clinic by the governor and moves in the legislature to restrict funding of the school.