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Utility offers millions to protect seabirds

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 1:25 p.m. HST, Aug 20, 2010

LIHUE — Kauai's electric utility has agreed to spend more than $11 million on measures designed to minimize and mitigate potential impacts of its facilities on endangered and threatened seabirds.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative said Thursday that the commitment is contained its revised short term habitat conservation plan filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

In May, the utility was named in a federal indictment alleging it killed or injured dozens of threatened seabirds. The indictment said the company and its predecessor entity failed to protect the birds for decades despite numerous warnings.

In response, the company said it had worked for a decade to protect the birds.

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