Jim Perdue stands with farmers Lee Richardson and Alan Hudson in Salisbury on Friday. (Photo: WBOC)
SALISBURY, Md- The Hudson family and Perdue Farms spoke out Friday about Thursday's landmark decision that finally put an end to a three-year legal battle.
The Waterkeeper Alliance, a New York-based environmental group, accused Alan Hudson's family farm in Berlin of violating the Clean Water Act. The Waterkeeper Alliance claimed the Hudson farm repeatedly discharged and continued to discharge pollutants into a drainage ditch that ultimately flows to the Pocomoke River, which is a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.
However, on Thursday a federal judge in Baltimore ruled that was not the case and said Perdue took steps to address environmental concerns.
"It's a great thing the way the verdict came out for us," Hudson said at a press conference in Salisbury. "We are really appreciative. Me and my family and for my wife it's been a rough time for all of us for the last few years."
The environmental group responded by saying:
"We are disappointed and disagree with judge Nickerson's decision.We have demonstrated a strong case in which the facts and the law support our allegations that Perdue and the Hudson Farm continually polluted a river that ultimatelyflows into the Chesapeake Bay."
Jim Perdue, the CEO of Perdue Farms, said it is also a relief for the poultry company that the case is over.
"It's frightening to think that the livelihood of a farm family can be in jeopardy just because of this act by the Waterkeeper to want to pursue putting them out of business," Perdue said.
Because this was an expensive lawsuit, Hudson said he hasn't has not whether he will pursue recovering all the money spent on the trial. He said it is something he will look into in the near future.
The environmental group also said that it is considering appealing the case.
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