Wind farm operator PacifiCorp Energy pleads guilty in bird deaths at wind farms in Wyoming

MarketsAssociated Press

Wind farm operator PacifiCorp Energy will pay $2.5 million in fines after pleading guilty to charges in connection with the deaths of protected birds in Wyoming.

The company, a subsidiary of Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act under a plea deal with prosecutors.

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The U.S. Justice Department says 38 golden eagles and 336 other protected birds have been found dead at the company's wind projects in Carbon and Converse counties from 2009 until now.

The bulk of the fine money will pay for projects to preserve golden eagles.

It's the second prosecution of wind energy company for harming or killing protected birds. Duke Energy pleaded guilty last year to killing eagles and other birds at two Wyoming wind farms.