NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. - S.A. Farm owner Santo Anza, Jr. has been indicted for animal cruelty and multiple environmental violations in connection with allegedly operating an illegal dumping site.
Anza, 51 who owns the much-disputed property on 429 Whitney St., is charged with three counts of violating the Massachusetts Clean Air Act, three counts of animal cruelty and 10 counts of violating the Massachusetts Solid Waste Act. He is expected to be arraigned at a later date.
Anza allegedly operated a dump site on his Whitney Street property where rotten food, garbage, dead animals and other items were disposed, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley. Authorities say odors from the site annoyed and sickened neighbors.
"These actions put the public's health at risk and cause unnecesary harm to the animals living on the property in intolerable conditions," Coakley said.
Anza had applied for and was granted a composting registration from the Department of Agricultural Resources in October 2010, and attempted to renew the registration in March 2011. After a site visit, however, authorities say that Anza was not using his land for agricultural purposes and was instead dumping waste in close proximity to animals that roamed the property.
Authorities granted Anza temporary registration at the time, provided he cleaned up the site and complied with the license. The temporary registration expired in April 2011. Anza allegedly continued to accept waste on his property thereafter, resulting in strong, repeated odors during the summer months.
Anza allegedly failed to provide adequate food and a proper environment for the cows, pigs and poultry that he kept on his property. These animals ended up foraging for food in garbage pits.
Anza failed to appear at a hearing in August to appeal a cease and desist order against his actions. At the time, neighbors claimed the order only resulted in more activity on his land.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection referred the matter to the Attorney General's office in September 2011. The Attorney General's Environmental Protection Division obtained a preliminary injuction against Anza on October 14, 2011, prohibiting him from accepting solid waste and compostable material on his property.