EnCana pleads guilty to birds' deaths in Colo, Wyo

Denver, CO – EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) has pleaded guilty to the deaths of about 55 protected birds at its operations in Colorado and Wyoming.

The energy company entered the plea Thursday in federal court in Denver to two misdemeanor counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The court fined Encana a total of $30,000 for the two counts and $170,000 in community service payments, which will go to the federally administered North American Wetlands Conservation Fund.

Federal authorities say the birds died over the past four years after diving into uncovered tanks and getting into uncovered storage pits in western Wyoming and western Colorado. Authorities say EnCana has already spent more than $3 million on a plan required to keep birds safe.