Leroy Douglas, 61, of Au Sable Forks, NY and the Douglas Corporation of Silver Lake were arraigned on January 4, 2011, in Clinton County Court on charges of violating several Environmental Conservation Laws.
Mr. Douglas and the Douglas Corporation of Silver Lake Inc. had been indicted in December 2010, by a Clinton County Grand Jury on charges of Endangering Public Health, Safety, or the Environment in the third degree, a felony with a maximum fine of $150,000 and up to 4 years in prison. The charge refers to allegations that Mr. Douglas and the Douglas Corporation of Silver Lake were responsible for disposing numerous 55-gallon drums containing a hazardous substance onto property owned by the Douglas Corporation of Silver Lake.
Other charges include three misdemeanors – Unlawful Disposal of Solid Waste, with possible penalties of $3,750-$22,500 per day in fines and up to 1 year in jail; Disturbing the Bed/Banks of a Classified Trout Stream, with possible penalties of $0-10,000 in fines and up to 1 year in jail; Failure to Register a Petroleum Bulk Storage Facility, and with possible penalties of $3,750-22,500 per day and up to 1 year in jail – and several petroleum bulk storage violations.
Mr. Douglas and the Corporation pled not guilty to all charges. Mr. Douglas was released on his own recognizance and the case was adjourned until February 14.
The charges stem from an investigation that began in July 2008 in response to complaints of environmental crimes at the Black Brook property. A search warrant was executed in August 2008 by the Environmental Conservation Police and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department.
Twenty-two (55) gallon drums and one saddle drum were removed from the property by a private contractor at the DEC’s direction. Approximately 5000 cubic yards of solid waste was located on the property including a pile of lead acid batteries, restaurant supplies, household garbage, furniture, dead animals, chemical containers, medical waste, and ash from burning solid waste.
The investigation was conducted by NYS DEC Police Investigator Ken Bruno, out of the DEC Region 5 Headquarters in Ray Brook. The case is being prosecuted by the Clinton County District Attorney’s Office.