(Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Vtornet)
A U.S. energy supplier has agreed to pay a fine of $1 over the deaths of 14 eagles and more than 100 other birds in the past three years on its wind farms in Wyoming.
Duke Energy Renewables agreed to pay the first such settlement after pleading guilty to charges over the deaths of 14 eagles and 149 other birds, according to AP.
This is the first time the Obama administration enforced the law against a wind energy company as they do with oil and other power companies in the deaths of birds.
Robert G. Dreher, Assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division stated: "In this plea agreement, Duke Energy Renewables acknowledges that it constructed these wind projects in a manner it knew beforehand would likely result in avian deaths."
In year 2013 alone, federal biologists said at least 67 golden and bald eagles have been killed by wind energy facilities.
Duke Energy will work with biologists and also new radar technology to identify eagles that get too close to the turbines and shut them down when they get too close.
The $1 million settlement will be used towards the wetlands conservation fund and to protect the golden eagle habitat. $100,000 of the fine will also be given to the state of Wyoming.
This is not the first time energy companies have been fined for killing birds. AP reports that In 2009, Exxon Mobil paid $600,000 for killing 85 birds across five states, while BP oil company was fined $100 million for the death of birds was during the Gulf oil spill in 2010. Coal plant energy supplier Pacificorp paid over $10.5 million in settlement for electrocuting 232 eagles along its power lines.