One of the region’s most prominent property rights activists has been indicted by a Clinton County grand jury on criminal charges of “environmental endangerment,” according to the Plattsburgh Press-Republican.
Both the Douglas Corp. and Douglas are accused of endangering “the public health, safety or the environment” — a third-degree felony — according to the indictment signed by Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie.
Douglas is accused of spilling waste oil on his land near Silver Lake in 2008.
The indictment also carries six misdemeanor counts: prohibited disposal of solid waste, disturbance of streambeds without a valid permit, failure to register a petroleum bulk-storage facility, failure to provide overfill prevention and secondary containment systems, failure to report spills or leaks and failure to properly close petroleum bulk-service tanks.
Douglas has been a prominent figure in the anti-Adirondack Park Agency movement, repeatedly alleging that he’s being harassed by state agencies in an effort to force the sale of his land.
He organized a property-rights rally in October that was attended by then-congressional candidate Doug Hoffman.
These charges were brought by a local grand jury, not by the state of New York. But Douglas told the Press-Republican that these charges were politically motivated.
“If I’m such an environmental villain, what would they wait two and a half years for?”