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News

Feds Sue Orange County Horse Racing Training Center Over Violations

Mark Ford Stables in Wallkill.
Mark Ford Stables in Wallkill. Photo Credit: Google Maps

The federal government has levied charges against the owners of a Hudson Valley horse racing training center for allegedly violating the Federal Clean Water Act.

It is alleged that from 2007 to 2017, the owners and operators of Mark Ford Stables in Wallkill destroyed existing federal wetlands and rerouted streams in the course of building a horse racing training center at both properties,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.

In addition, the owners allegedly have operated a concentrated animal feeding operation without a permit, allowing horse wash water and process wastewater to be discharged into area waterways. The owners also allegedly violated the terms of a stormwater construction general permit during construction work at one of the properties from January 2016 to February 2017.

“The defendants violated the laws protecting our Nation’s wetlands and have repeatedly discharged waste from their horse training facility into the waters of the United States,” Berman said in a statement. “This lawsuit will hold the defendants accountable for violating our environmental laws and require them to remedy the significant damage they have caused to federal wetlands.”

The United States has filed a civil lawsuit against Mark Ford, Mark Ford Stables, Inc., Mark Ford Stage Road Property Inc., and Ford Equine, seeking injunctive relief and civil penalties in connection to the construction and operation of the facility, Berman said.

EPA Regional Administrator Peter Lopez added, “EPA is taking this action to enforce the Clean Water Act and protect America’s wetlands.  The defendants, in this case, showed a disregard for the law, resulting in the destruction of federal wetlands, among other violations.”

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