Farmer gets probation for illegal dump

Local farmer Santo Anza Jr. has been sentenced to five years’ probation after being convicted of operating an illegal dumping site that had drawn numerous complaints from neighbors over extreme odors and pollution coming from his Whitney Street property. During the Aug. 22 sentencing in Worcester Superior Court, the judge also levied a suspended one-year prison term, while ordering Anza to remove all of the solid waste that remained from the more than 2 million pounds that he had accepted for disposal there. The judge gave Anza 60 days to develop a cleanup plan, which will be supervised by the state Department of Environmental Protection. Anza, 52, was found guilty on Aug. 1 on three counts of violating the Massachusetts Clean Air Act and eight counts of violating the Massachusetts Solid Waste Act. Anza was charged with violating various environmental laws in 2011 after a site visit by the Department of Agricultural Resources found a large area on his property filled with rotted food, nonfood waste, and other materials. In an announcement on Anza’s sentencing, Attorney General Martha Coakley said he had “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.” The judge also prohibited him from working with any solid waste while he is on probation.