Northborough Man Sentenced for Multiple Environmental Violations in Connection with Operating Illegal Dump
Ordered to Remove All Solid Waste from Site; Prohibited from Engaging in Any Business Involving Solid Waste
WORCESTER — A Northborough man has been sentenced to serve one year in jail with the sentence suspended with five years of probation for operating an illegal dumping site, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
The judge also ordered that Santo Anza Jr., age 52, of Northborough, remove all solid waste from the site. Anza is also prohibited from working with any solid waste in any community for the next five years.
“This defendant operated an illegal dump that unlawfully accepted more than 2 million pounds of solid waste, fouling the air and polluting the environment,” AG Coakley said. “He repeatedly disregarded solid waste and clean air laws for his own personal gain while putting the public’s health at risk and damaging the environment.”
“This case sends a strong signal that the rules we have in place to protect public health and the environment, cannot be ignored,” said Martin Suuberg, MassDEP’s deputy commissioner.
The sentence was imposed today by Worcester Superior Court Judge Richard T. Tucker.
Judge Tucker also ordered that Anza, within 60 days, develop a plan and schedule to remove all the solid waste from the site, subject to approval by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Anza was sentenced to serve an additional five years of probation for violations of the Massachusetts Clean Air Act.
The Commonwealth recommended that Santo Anza be incarcerated for one year in the House of Correction, and to serve five years of probation upon completion of his sentence.
Several residents from the surrounding community delivered impact statements in court today describing the negative effect that Anza’s illegal dump site on his Whitney Street property had on their lives, including details on how they suffered from the sights, sounds and smells of the illegal operation that emitted rotten odors.
A site visit by the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) in March 2011 revealed that Anza was operating an illegal dump for spoiled and rotting food, non-food waste and other materials. Anza was granted temporary registration provided that he brought the site into compliance. After the temporary certificate expired in April 2011, Anza continued to accept over 2 million pounds of food waste without a valid site permit.
On August 1, Anza was found guilty, after a seven-day bench trial in Worcester Superior Court, by Judge Tucker on the charges of violating the Massachusetts Clean Air Act (3 counts) and violating the Massachusetts Solid Waste Act (8 counts).
The criminal charges were the result of a joint investigation by personnel from MassDEP and DAR. MassDEP and DAR staff worked closely with prosecutors from AG Coakley’s Environmental Crimes Strike Force, an interagency unit that is overseen by AG Coakley, Secretary Rick Sullivan and MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell.
The Strike Force comprises prosecutors and Environmental Police Officers from the AG’s Office and investigators and engineers from the MassDEP who investigate and prosecute crimes that harm or threaten the state’s water, air, or land and that pose a significant threat to human health.
Members of the public who have information regarding a potential environmental crime are encouraged to contact the MassDEP Environmental Strike Force Hotline at 1-888-VIOLATE (846-5283) or the Attorney General’s Office at (617) 727-2200.
Assistant Attorneys General Andrew Rainer and Peter Downing of AG Coakley’s Environmental Crimes Strike Force prosecuted this case with assistance from MassDEP and DAR. The case was investigated by MassDEP attorney MaryJude Pigsley and staffers Andrea Briggs, Lynne Welsh, Mike Penny, Greg Root, Paul Dwiggins, Jim McQuade and Michelle Delemarre. Staff from the Division of Animal Health and the Legal Department of DAR also assisted in the case.