"Environmental activists filed suit Tuesday against the poultry giant Perdue Farms and an Eastern Shore farm where Perdue chickens are raised, contending that the farm is polluting the Chesapeake Bay with manure-laden runoff.
The suit, filed by the Assateague Coastal Trust, says that water flowing off the farm near Berlin, Md., carries high levels of bacteria, as well as pollutants blamed for the Chesapeake's 'dead zones.' Environmentalists said they think the farm's owners store chicken manure in large outdoor piles near ditches, where it is likely to run off with the rain.
The farm 'appears to be an out-of-control situation, when it comes to animal waste,' said Kathy Phillips, an employee of the group.
The lawsuit is the latest sign of rising tensions about animal manure, both on the Eastern Shore -- where 568 million chickens were raised last year -- and across the country."