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Waterkeeper Alliance v. Hudson

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20010
Nos. 10-487, (D. Md., 12/20/2012) (Nickerson, J.)

A district court dismissed an environmental group's CWA action against a poultry farm claiming that it illegally discharged chicken litter into tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. The group claimed that chicken litter, which is alleged to contain various pollutants, was discharged without a permit from the farm into the Pocomoke River. The group claimed that chicken litter is either blown out through the chicken house exhaust fans or tracked out on shoes and equipment coming in and out of the chicken houses. But ultimately, the group failed to meet its burden of establishing that there was a discharge of pollution from the poultry operation. In addition to confined poultry units, the farm raises cattle. And in contrast to the tons of cattle manure that was observed at the farm, what was observed outside of the chicken houses and identified as actual chicken litter was quite limited.