By Victoria Price
LUBBOCK, TX -- A legal settlement with Phillips 66 will now send more than $200,000 to the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
Last year, the center responded to an emergency unlike any they had seen before.
"We got a call from Phillips 66 in Borger that they needed assistance with waterfowl, and if we were able to help them," says the center's Gail Barnes.
Hundreds of federally protected birds were killed by a salt pit at a Phillips 66 refinery in the Panhandle.
Barnes says because of the drought, that pit was the only nearby water, and the birds became desperate.
"So once they landed on the brine, the salt would cover them," Barnes says. "So the salt would condense. We couldn't save a lot of the birds, the salt was on them for so long."
This week, the federal government mandated the oil company pay more than $200,000 in donations and restitution.
"I'm just overwhelmed that we did get this money. It's so wonderful," says Barnes.
The center says Phillips 66 is looking to them to help prevent any future danger to the birds.
"We will be going up there and monitoring the situation and helping assist them with anything they might need," Barnes says.
And they're convinced this donation will be transformative for the center.
"This money will help with our mission, help us expand and grow...we can grow even more. It's a tragic situation, but hopefully it will have a very good end."