Exxon Mobil Corp has agreed to pay $600,000 and has already spent more than $2.5 million as part of a guilty plea to killing migratory birds in five states, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday
It said Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded oil and gas company, had agreed to pay $400,000 in fines and $200,000 in community service payments as part of the plea deal. Exxon also has already spent more than $2.5 million to begin implementing an environmental compliance plan over the next three years to prevent bird deaths at its facilities, the Justice Department said.
It said Exxon pleaded guilty in federal court in Denver to violating a federal law designed to protect migratory birds. The department said the case stemmed from the deaths of about 85 protected birds, including waterfowl, hawks and owls, at Exxon drilling and production facilities in Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas.
According to court documents, most of the birds died after exposure to hydrocarbons in uncovered natural gas well reserve pits and waste water storage facilities. During a three-year probationary period, Texas-based Exxon must implement a plan designed to keep birds from coming into contact with oily waters at its facilities in the five states, the department said.
(Reuters / Planeta Azul, 14/08/2009)