Exxon to pay $600,000 fine over birds
The company, based in Irving, Texas, also will put in place a plan over the next three years to prevent bird deaths in five states, the department said in a statement yesterday. The company already has spent more than $2.5 million on the plan.
The charges are related to the deaths of about 85 protected birds, including hawks and owls, at drilling and production facilities in Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas between 2004 and 2009, said the Justice Department. Birds were exposed to hydrocarbons in uncovered pits that are used in natural gas extraction and wastewater storage facilities, the department said.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cruden said in a conference call with reporters that Exxon Mobil, which pleaded guilty to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, cooperated in the case. “This is a great win for the environment, a great effort to protect migratory birds,’’ he said.
Exxon Mobil worked in good faith to resolve the case and protect water birds on company property, said Margaret Ross, a company spokeswoman.