April 22, 2024

WALLKILL — The U.S. Environmental Safety Agency introduced Friday that it arrived at a consent decree to settle a 4-yr civil situation against Mark Ford, a popular determine in standardbred horse racing, for violating the Thoroughly clean Water Act by illegally filling wetlands and polluting the waters at his training centre and a further place in Orange County.

In the consent decree, Ford and three of his organizations — Mark Ford Stables, Inc., Mark Ford Stage Highway House Inc., and Ford Equine, Ltd. — admitted to illegally filling 18.1 acres of federal wetlands and a tributary over the system of 9 many years while developing a horse schooling center and a next equine heart on two attributes in Wallkill, a hamlet in Middletown. They also re-routed streams and discharged pollutants from the horse teaching operations into waterways. Ford neglected to get the required authorizations and permits or to comply with the demands of point out and federal legal guidelines, the decree suggests.

The education middle, which includes a observe oval and a number of buildings, is found on Slaughter Street in between Interstate 84 and the Walkill River. A tributary of the river operates as a result of the property, such as beneath the standardbred observe. The second equine center is on Stony Ford Highway, a small distance from the Slaughter Highway training centre.

In the decree, Ford, 52, agreed to fork out a $200,000 civil penalty, create or restore 18 acres of wetlands on his assets, take care of two streams and deal with the animal squander and wastewater on his land, in accordance to the U.S. attorney’s office environment for the Southern District of New York. The decree requirements to be permitted by a court and is subject matter to community comment.

“This consent decree puts the defendants down a path to reversing the harm they triggered to the setting by filling wetlands on their properties and failing to protect against pollutants from entering community waters,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams mentioned. “It must provide as a reminder that those who pollute will be held accountable for their steps.”

Ford has been one of the most prosperous trainers in standardbred horse racing, and for about two a long time has frequently won much more than a million pounds for every 12 months in winnings from the activity. He is a director with the national association for standardbred racing.

Ford said in an job interview he hoped the choose would approve the consent decree because the litigation was monetarily “crippling.” He also criticized the total scenario, declaring he in no way knowingly engaged in any wrongdoing. He reported he took a house that was a “trash dump” and made it a successful farm.