The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

September 13, 2013

Probation, fine ordered in hazardous substances case

By BRAD KELLAR
Herald-Banner Staff

PLANO — A Quinlan man was placed on probation and fined Thursday for releasing a hazardous substance into the air around Royse City, threatening the lives of others.

William “Bill” Lafon Musgrove, 57, pleaded guilty last month to one count of negligent release of an extremely hazardous substance. Musgrove was sentenced to 36 months of probation during a hearing Thursday in the Plano courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Judge Don D. Bush. Musgrove was also fined $10,000.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas filed an information charge June 23 charging Musgrove with the offense. Musgrove admitted that in June 2011, as the vice president and operations manager of Industrial Precious Metals Recovery Incorporated (IPMR), in Royse City, he allowed the company’s 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. 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 was facing a maximum sentence of up to one year in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.