Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Thursday, May 25, 2017

DEC Charges Essex County Couple for Polluting Ausable River

New York State Department of Environmental (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) have charged Elizabeth D. Smith, 54, and Roger R. Smith, 56, of Keeseville, with numerous violations of Environmental Conservation Law related to their car crushing operation on the banks of the Ausable River.

Investigators from the Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigations (BECI) unit, ECOs and DEC staff served a search warrant on March 2 at Smiths Auto Exchange at 1351 Rt. 9N in Keeseville. The results of the search warrant and the subsequent investigation lead to the couple each charged with one felony count of unpermitted discharge of industrial waste and three misdemeanors charges - endangering public health, safety or the environment, disturbing the bed or banks of a stream, and failure to report a spill.

They were also charged with storage of more than of 1,000 waste tires, a violation.

The pair were arrested on May 23, processed at the State Police Barracks in Lewis, and issued appearance tickets. They are scheduled to be arraigned in Chesterfield Criminal Court on June 12.

The case is being prosecuted by the Essex County District Attorney's Office.

If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).

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