A Black Brook landowner paid a $5,000 fine this week for violating state Environmental Conservation Law. The company he owns has also paid $5,000 in restitution to a state environmental cleanup fund.
LeRoy Douglas, who owns a campground on Silver Lake, had pleaded guilty in October to prohibited disposal of solid waste, a misdemeanor, for illegally disposing 55-gallon drums containing a hazardous substance on property his corporation owns in 2008. He and his company, the Douglas Corporation of Silver Lake, initially faced 14 violations of environmental laws, but most of those counts were dropped because the prosecution brought them too late.
Douglas appeared before Clinton County Court Judge Kevin Ryan on Tuesday for sentencing and was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine as part of a plea agreement with the county district attorney's office, according to Douglas' attorney, Matthew Norfolk of Lake Placid.
"Everything went as expected," Norfolk said Friday. "It's done. He paid it that day."
Douglas had also been required to retain a third-party, environmental remediation firm to inspect the property and confirm that the solid waste has been removed. Norfolk said that work has been done, and a report was submitted weeks ago that he said "was satisfactory to the court."
The Douglas Corporation, which had pleaded guilty in October to a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree endangering the public health, was ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution to the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund. Norfolk said his client has already done so.
While this case is over, Douglas and Norfolk are still awaiting a decision in a much bigger federal lawsuit Douglas brought against the environmental group the Adirondack Council and the state Adirondack Park Agency. Douglas alleges they colluded to reopen a closed enforcement case against him to prevent him from subdividing and selling his land on Silver Lake. The APA and the Council have denied wrongdoing.
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