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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 27, 2013

Idaho Falls Apartment Owner Sentenced For Release Of Asbestos Air Pollutant

POCATELLO – U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced that Tyler Harwood, 30, of Idaho Falls, was sentenced yesterday to one year probation for violating the Clean Air Act by negligently releasing a hazardous air pollutant. U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush also fined Harwood $250, and ordered him to take a class for property owners on following EPA guidelines. Harwood pleaded guilty on April 25, 2013.

According to the court documents, Harwood arranged for and caused a boiler wrapped in asbestos material to be removed from the basement of his “D Street Apartments.” During the dismantling and removal of the boiler, residents of the apartment building were exposed to powdered air-borne asbestos dust released into the ambient air of the apartment building.

“Exposure to asbestos can cause cancer and serious respiratory illness,” said Tyler Amon, Special Agent-in-Charge of EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement. “Cutting corners when it comes to handling asbestos is not just a health hazard, but in this case was a criminal act that put people at risk.”

The case was investigated by agents of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.