A Hudson Valley horse training facility is being sued for allegedly bulldozing existing wetlands, illegally filling streams and pumping horse wash-water and wastewater into federal waters.

The United States filed a civil lawsuit against Mark Ford, Mark Ford Stables, INC., Mark Ford Stage Road Property INC. and Ford Equine, LTD, seeking injunctive relief and civil penalties for violations of the Clean Water Act in connection with the defendants’ alleged construction and operation of a horse racing training facility in Orange County.

“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, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said. "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 defendants own and operate a 76-acre horse racing training center and stables on two adjacent properties in the Town of Wallkill, officials say.

From 2007 to 2017, the defendants destroyed existing federal wetlands and rerouted streams in the course of building a horse racing training center at both properties and operated a concentrated animal feeding operation without a permit, allowing horse washwater and process wastewater to be discharged into waters of the United States, according to the complaint filed in White Plains federal court.

The defendants also violated the terms of a stormwater construction general permit during construction work at one of the properties from January 2016 to February 2017, officials say.

“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," EPA Regional Administrator Peter Lopez stated.

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