Feds accuse owners of prestigious Orange County horse training facility with dumping trash in wetlands

The defendants listed are Thomas Pushkal, Jennifer Vanover, Edward Pushkal, Frances Pushkal and Maplewood Warmbloods, LLC. The facility is located on 460 Bart Bull Road in Middletown.

Blaise Gomez

Jul 21, 2023, 11:02 AM

Updated 271 days ago

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The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York has filed a civil lawsuit against the owners and operators of Maplewood Warmbloods, LLC for allegedly filling wetlands in Orange County protected by the federal Clean Water Act.
The defendants listed are Thomas Pushkal, Jennifer Vanover, Edward Pushkal, Frances Pushkal and Maplewood Warmbloods, LLC. The facility is located on 460 Bart Bull Road in Middletown.
"The defendants violated the Clean Water Act by discharging concrete, metal, glass and other fill material into wetlands that are part of the waters of the United States. This lawsuit will hold the defendants accountable for allegedly violating our environmental laws and require them to remedy the alleged significant damage they have caused to protected wetlands," said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams.
The Complaint was filed Thursday in White Plains Federal Court and asks for injunctive relief and civil penalties for the violations.
The suit alleges that from 2015 to 2019, the defendants put fill without a federal permit into approximately 3.5 acres of wetlands on their property to expand their horse breeding, boarding, and training facility.
Prosecutors allege they directed or permitted construction and demolition material to be trucked in and deposited at the Bart Bull Road Site and directed or permitted the use of heavy machinery to spread the fill material to level and raise the grade of 1.5 acres of wetlands on the property. Prosecutors say fill material like dirt, rock, brick, wood, electrical wiring, ceramic, asphalt, concrete, rebar, PVC piping, metal, and glass were discharged into wetlands adjacent to the Wallkill River.
The lawsuit alleges the owners knew the property was protected and required special permits, and that the EPA cautioned them against expanding onto them without a permit but that they voluntarily chose to disregard federal law.
The Maplewood Warmbloods website says they are a centrally located, "elite, private breeding and training center" who are hosts to world-class symposiums, clinics and two prestigious USDF/USEF-recognized breed and dressage competitions.
News 12 reached out to the owners who were not immediately available for comment.


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