A Utah man has pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the federal Clean Air Act for failing to take precautions when disposing of asbestos, the U.S. Attorney's office said Tuesday.

Eugene Dalton, 74, of Salt Lake City and Moab, was sentenced to nine months of home confinement and three years of supervised probation. He was also fined $2,500 and charged a $100 special assessment.According to charging documents, for several months beginning in 1993, Dalton, designer and operator of the Book Cliffs Energy Company in Green River, told workers to remove asbestos from equipment that was going to be used to build the Book Cliffs company, a used oil refinery.

The refinery closed in August 1995.

Dalton did not take proper precautions to ensure worker safety, the documents said. About 186 cubic feet of asbestos was removed from the equipment, which was purchased from other companies.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen and has been listed as a hazardous air pollutant under the Clean Air Act since 1971.

"Eugene Dalton made a conscious decision to violate the environmental laws and, in doing so, subjected his employees to a dangerous substance which could have lasting negative effects on their health," said Fred Burnside, special agent in charge of EPA criminal investigation.