The largest US oil company Exxon Mobil Corp. pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Denver to violating a law protecting migratory birds and agreed to pay $600,000, the Justice Department said.
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 Boston Globe reports.
Waterfowl, hawks and owls protected under an international treaty were killed after landing in uncovered pools, where they were coated with or ingested fatal doses of hydrocarbons, federal officials said.
The facilities are in Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
"This is a great win for the environment," Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cruden told reporters in a telephone news conference, CNN International reports.
"We are all responsible for protecting our wildlife, even the largest of corporations," said Colorado U.S. Atty. David M. Gaouette in the Justice Department statement. "An important part of this case is the implementation of an environmental compliance plan that will help prevent future migratory bird deaths," The Los Angeles Times reports.