Kesterson Whistleblower Felix Smith's letter to the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service goes unanswered

Editor's Note: Felix Smith, who suffered political harassment from his superiors during his 34-year federal career, was the federal biologist who in 1983 leaked to the news media that deformities in birds nesting at the Kesterson National Refuge had been poisoned by selenium-tainted, toxic drainwater from the Westlands Water District.

    The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, for several months, kept secret the Kesterson bird deformities until Smith leaked the story to Fresno Bee reporter Deborah Blum.  Smith took early retirement in 1990, tired of the harassment.

     Smith wrote the following letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe four months ago.  Ashe has not answered Smith.  USA Today environmental columnist Dan Vergano wrote an article on April 6, 2013, which indicated federal biologists continue to be intimidated by their superiors in speaking out about selenium pollution from phosphate and coal mines in several states. 


December 17, 2012   READ MORE »

California desert aquifers used for drinking water have high levels of inorganic elements, including arsenic and boron


     The U.S. Geological Survey reports that inorganic elements - arsenic, boron, fluoride, and five other inorganic elements - have been detected at high concentrations in 35 percent of untreated groundwater used for public water supply in the deserts of southern California. In contrast, human-made organic chemical constituents and nitrate were found at high concentrations in less than 1 percent of the desert region’s aquifers.  READ MORE »

Feds permitting pollution of nation's wells and aquifers

For a depressing look at how we are mistreating the nation's endangered aquifers, take a look at this article from Pro Publica, journalism in the public interest:


Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board fines growers $50,600 for polluting San Joaquin River

     On August 10, 2012, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board issued the following announcement:


Gorbachev says the world must respond to global water crisis

Marseille, France - The world must urgently respond to the global water crisis to prevent conflicts, ensure fair access to this life-giving resource, and reduce unsustainable use of water and other natural resources to protect the planet, Green Cross International Founder Mikhail Gorbachev said during his address to today’s (Monday, March 12) high-level opening of the 6th World Water Forum.


President Gorbachev, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said there must be a political, economic and social shift in the way we deal with water, otherwise the world will encounter devastating political and humanitarian consequences.


“Water is at the heart of our economies, our societies, our futures,” “Water is the basis for all development and its strategic importance has demonstrated it can serve as a vehicle for peace and also tension. The risk of competition between regions and countries may only increase if we do not find a way to protect and share water.” “On our planet Earth we do have water, but accessible resources of fresh water are limited, and water use for human needs keeps rising. Continuation of water consumption at 20th century rates is no longer possible,” President Gorbachev told the World Water Forum, being held in Marseille, France.


Farmers and Environmentalists can work together

Do farmers and environmentalists always fight? Not in Stockton, where they team up to fight the continuing pollution of the Delta by the city of Stockton. READ MORE HERE.

Groups file suit against San Joaquin Valley water board

Groups file suit against San Joaquin Valley water board
Written by Gabriel Dillard
Friday, 15 February 2008
(AP) — A coalition of community groups is suing the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, saying the agency is breaking state law by allowing pollution from dairy farms to penetrate groundwater supplies used for drinking water.

Last year, the board issued a permit that requires existing dairies to regulate some of their own pollution.  READ MORE »

Syndicate content