This is a bit off-topic but I thought I would share anyway...........
Oil and gas company fined after dead birds found at drilling facilities
Posted: Dec 13, 2012 -- MTN News
BILLINGS - An oil and gas company headquartered in Denver has been fined $22,500 for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
SM Energy Company pleaded guilty in federal court in Billings this week to three misdemeanor violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in connection the deaths of birds at the company's drilling facilities in Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska.
Under the plea agreement, U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn S. Ostby placed the company on probation for one year and ordered it to pay $22,500 in fines, $7,500 toward improvement of migratory bird habitat and to continue implementing a $300,000 comprehensive remediation program intended to prevent future bird deaths at the company's drilling and storage sites, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
SM Energy Company operates oil and gas mining operations in several western states, including Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska. The company uses "reserve pits" to store petroleum and chemical substances during the drilling operations. Birds land in the pits and ingest or become coated in the fluids, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The pits can be made safe for birds by covering them with netting to prevent the birds from coming into contact with the toxic fluids, the news release states.
"These charges arose after a multi-year pattern of bird deaths at company sites, notification by the Fish and Wildlife Service, and failure of the defendant company's subsidiary to take reasonable measures to make the hazardous sites bird-safe," Michael W. Cotter, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, said. "This case illustrates our commitment to encouraging the use of environmental "best practices" by industry, and to enforce the law in cases where lack of compliance results in harm to a protected public resource."
The case was investigated by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Environmental Crimes Section of DOJ's Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Who ever said the oil business was a clean business?
Montana oil executive pleads not guilty to crime in North Dakota
November 27, 2012 8:16 am • Associated Press
DICKINSON, N.D. — A Montana oil executive has pleaded not guilty to violating oil drilling wastewater disposal rules in North Dakota.
Nathan Garber of Kalispell, Mont., is accused of ordering the illegal dumping of saltwater waste into a former oil well, putting drinking water in Stark County at risk for contamination. He faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted of the felony.
North Dakota's Industrial Commission earlier assessed a record $1.525 million fine against Halek Operating ND LLC of Dickinson in the case.