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Texas Painting Company and Owner Plead Guilty in Lead Paint Waste Case

Release Date: 08/18/2004
Contact Information:

Contact: Christopher Lagan 202-564-7338 /

(08/18/04) Kerrville Painting Company Inc., of Kerrville, Texas, and its owner, Nick Muskie, also known as Nickolas Mouzakis, pleaded guilty to felony criminal violations that arose from sandblasting and painting work the company did in highway bridge contracts in northeast Arkansas in 1999 and 2000. Kerrville Painting pleaded guilty to conspiracy, illegal disposal of hazardous waste, illegal transportation of hazardous waste and illegal discharge of pollutants into the Black River from two different bridge locations. Muskie pleaded guilty to conspiracy and illegal disposal of hazardous waste. Kerrville Painting Company specialized in sandblasting and painting steel structures, primarily bridges, in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Bridge sandblasting and painting typically generates wastes contaminated with lead which must be disposed of properly to avoid exposure of the public, fish and wildlife to lead and lead compounds. Exposure to sufficient quantities of lead can cause neurological disorders, developmental disorders, birth defects, diseases of the blood and kidneys and even death. The pleas were entered on Aug. 9 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas in Little Rock. The case was investigated by the Dallas and Houston Offices of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Office of General Counsel, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office Environmental Protection Unit, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Little Rock.