kesterson national wildlife refuge
By Lloyd G. Carter
A southern San Joaquin Valley water district is proposing to build an 1,800-acre evaporation pond to dispose of toxic subsurface drainage water in a scenario eerily reminiscent of the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge poisoning in the early 1980s. READ MORE »
By Lloyd G. Carter
Editor’s note: Part one of this series addresses the merits of Westlands Water District’s breach of contract claim in the U.S. Claims Court in Washington, D.C. Part Two addresses the Denver law firm hired to represent Westlands and its far flung political connections.
In the wake of the public relations debacle over the brief hiring of former federal judge Oliver Wanger, the Westlands Water District has now hired a high-powered Denver, Colorado law firm with close ties to Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar and political tentacles reaching to the highest levels of both the Democratic and Republican parties.
Westlands, on January 6, 2012, quietly filed a complaint in the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington, D.C. claiming the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation breached its 1963 contract with Westlands by failing for decades to build a drainage system to carry away Westlands’ toxic waste waters to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. There was no Westlands press release on the Court of Claims suit and no mainstream media picked up the story for almost a month. READ MORE »
Is another selenium-poisoned wildlife disaster like that which occurred at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in Merced County in the 1980s going to occur again? READ AN ARTICLE HERE about the latest United States Geological Survey report which indicates more problems for western San Joaquin Valley agriculture. CLICK HERE for the USGS report. READ MORE »
From the Sacramento Bee...
Lloyd G. Carter: A California water story of individual tenacity
By Lloyd G. Carter - Special to The Bee
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, April 25, 2008
Story appeared in EDITORIALS section, Page B7
You have to give 75-year-old Felix Smith of Carmichael credit for tenacity.
A quarter-century ago, Smith became the conscience of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when he blew the whistle on the selenium poisoning of the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in western Merced County. READ MORE »
Felix Smith, the whistleblower on the bird deformities at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge back in the 1980s, has filed a complaint with the State Water Board over the continued irrigation of high selenium soils in the Western San Joaquin Valley. He wants the water board to declare irrigation of these tainted soils an unreasonable use of water under California law. He is joined in his complaint by the California Salmon and Steelhead Assocation. The Water Board has asked the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which supplies Northern California to federal irrigation districts farming the high selenium soils, to explain what is being done to solve the selenium crisis, now in its third decade. The Bureau of Reclamation recently replied to the Water Board's inquiry. See if you can spot the flaws in the Bureau of Reclamation's arguments that the problem is being solved. Here is the Bureau's response: CLICK HERE READ MORE »