On August 7, 2013, in a case in the Eastern District of Texas, William Musgrove pleaded guilty to negligently releasing an extremely hazardous substance and placing another person in danger of imminent death or serious bodily injury. Musgrove now faces up to one year in prison and a $250,000.00 fine (sentencing has not been scheduled).
Musgrove was the vice president and operations manager of Industrial Precious Metals Recovery, Incorporated (“IPMR”), in Royse City, Texas. IMPR recovered precious metals for electronics. Musgrove admitted that in June 2011, he allowed IMPR’s metal recovery process to release approximately ten (10) pounds of nitrogen oxides (“NOx”) within a twenty-four (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.
The IPMR facility was adjacent to other commercial facilities with employees that were present during the NOx emissions. The facility has since closed.
The case was investigated by the USEPA’s CID (Tim Townsend was the agent) and the TCEQ’s Environmental Crimes Unit (Paul Gorman) and was prosecuted by AUSA Jim Noble (Jim has a fair amount of experience prosecuting environmental crimes).
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