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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Texas

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Manager Of Metal Recovery Business Pleads Guilty To Negligent Release Of Extremely Hazardous Substance

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

 Metal recovery process produced Nitrogen Oxides or “NOx”

PLANO, Texas – A 57 year old Quinlan, Texas man has pleaded guilty to negligently releasing an extremely hazardous substance and placing another person in danger of imminent death or serious bodily injury announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

William “Bill” Lafon Musgrove, 57, pleaded guilty today in U.S. Magistrate Judge Don D. Bush’s court to Negligent Release of an Extremely Hazardous Substance. On June 21, 2013 the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas filed an information charging Musgrove with the offense. Musgrove admitted that in June of 2011, as the vice president and operations manager of Industrial Precious Metals Recovery Incorporated (IPMR), in Royse City, Texas, he allowed their metal recovery process to release approximately ten pounds of Nitrogen Oxides, or “NOx” within a 24 hour time period into the ambient air at ground level through an open doorway, instead of utilizing the company’s air scrubber which was broken at the time.  Musgrove admitted that he should have known that releasing NOx in that manner would place people in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.  Fortunately, no actual injuries occurred. 

             Federal environmental regulations characterize Nitrogen Oxides as an “extremely hazardous substance.”  At the time, the IPMR facility in Royse City was adjacent to other commercial facilities with employees that were present during the NOx emissions.  The facility has since closed.     

Musgrove faces up to one year in prison and a $250,000.00 fine.  A sentencing date has not been scheduled. 

This case was investigated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigations Division, Region VI, Dallas, Texas, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Environmental Crimes Unit and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble. 

Updated March 12, 2015