EnCana pays $200,000 for bird violations

EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. will pay $200,000 in community service payments and fines after pleading guilty today to misdemeanor violations related to the deaths of some 60 federally protected birds in western Colorado and Wyoming.

The deaths involved waterfowl and owls protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. They occurred at uncovered natural gas reserve pits and wastewater storage facilities in western Colorado’s Piceance Basin and in three Wyoming counties.

Under a plea agreement, the company was sentenced to a maximum fine of $30,000 and ordered to pay another $170,000 in community service payments. It also must implement an environmental compliance plan designed to keep birds from coming in contact with oily waters, said Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Colorado.

EnCana spokesman Doug Hock said that plan already is being implemented.

“We’re working to minimize sources of hazards for birds as part of that plan. Our hope is that we won’t have further violations as a result of implementation of the plan,” he said.


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