BALTIMORE – Perdue Farms is seeking to recoup $2.5 million in attorney fees from the Waterkeeper Alliance following a poultry pollution lawsuit.

New York-based Water Keeper Alliance sued the company and a contract poultry producer, Hudson Farm in Berlin, Md. In the lawsuit, the Waterkeeper Alliance alleged that chicken manure from Hudson Farm was polluting local waters that ultimately flow to the Chesapeake Bay. The group argued that Perdue Farms also should be liable for the pollution.

Perdue Farms argued that the case should have ended years ago when Assateague Coastal Trust and the Waterkeeper Alliance discovered that legal bio-solids were incorrectly identified as a pile of chicken manure. Instead, the environmental activists waged a campaign against contemporary animal agriculture — and against the owners of Hudson Farm. The company argued that the plaintiffs failed to prove the poultry houses were a source of pollution or that Perdue Farms should be held responsible. A judge sided with Perdue Farms and Alan and Kristin Hudson, saying the plaintiffs did not prove their case.