Feds spending $1.4M on Midway lead paint clean up

HONOLULU (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to spend $1.4 million cleaning up lead paint on former Midway Atoll military buildings that have been poisoning Laysan albatross birds there.

The American Bird Conservancy, citing letters from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said Thursday the agency plans carry out the clean up by next July.

Curious albatross chicks are becoming poisoned when they eat paint peeling from the aging buildings.

The chicks develop a condition called droopwing that prevents them from being able to lift their developing wings off the ground.

Many die of starvation and dehydration. The former military base at Midway is now a National Wildlife Refuge and part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

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