published Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Salvage company owner guilty in asbestos case in Greeneville, Tenn.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — The owner and operator of A&E Salvage has pleaded guilty to Clean Air Act violations for removing asbestos from a closed Hamblen County plant without exercising the legally required controls.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, Mark Sawyer was the last of five co-defendants to plead guilty when he entered his plea on Wednesday in federal court in Greeneville. All five are scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 19.

According to court documents, Sawyer and his co-conspirators had workers remove asbestos from the shuttered Liberty Fibers plant without proper protective gear. The conspirators also did not properly dispose of the hazardous material.

Sawyer faces up to five years in prison and a fine that could exceed $250,000.

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