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BWB and CLA File Suit Against Fleischmann’s Vinegar for Violating Clean Water Laws


Blue Water Baltimore, represented by the Chesapeake Legal Alliance, filed suit today
against Fleischmann’s Vinegar Company, Inc. and its parent company, Kerry, Inc., for unauthorized discharge of pollutants into the Jones Falls stream, a tributary to the Baltimore Harbor and tidal Patapsco River.

Concerns about the Fleischmann’s facility first came to light during a fish kill in September 2021. A second fish kill occurred in October 2022 near the facility at 1900 Brand Avenue in Baltimore. Both incidents, accompanied by a strong odor of vinegar, were reported to Blue Water Baltimore by residents. Blue Water Baltimore has since documented ongoing acid discharges flowing through cracks and fissures in the concrete walls of the facility, directly into the Jones Falls, a violation of federal and state laws.

Blue Water Baltimore and Chesapeake Legal Alliance filed this suit under the federal Clean Water Act, which allows residents of an affected community to file suit against polluters in violation of the statute. Blue Water Baltimore pursues legal actions on behalf of its members and residents of the Baltimore area to hold polluters accountable and force them into compliance with environmental laws. Suits under the Clean Water Act require 60 days notice, which Chesapeake Legal Alliance filed Jan 17, 2023.

“Fleischmann’s must stop these unpermitted discharges immediately,” said Alice Volpitta, Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper with Blue Water Baltimore. “We are taking legal action today on behalf of our members so that we can protect and restore the Jones Falls stream.”

“These pollution discharges are clear violations of the Clean Water Act, and we are exercising our legal right to hold Fleischmann’s and Kerry, Inc. accountable,” said Angela Haren, Senior Attorney at Chesapeake Legal Alliance. “We look forward to working with all parties including the Maryland Department of the Environment to stop the pollution immediately.”


Blue Water Baltimore, home of the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper, is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit watershed organization with a mission to restore the quality of Baltimore’s rivers, streams, and Harbor to foster a healthy environment, a strong economy, and thriving communities.

Chesapeake Legal Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free legal services, with a mission to apply the power of the law to protect and restore clean water and promote healthy, resilient ecosystems for communities across the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

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