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The State

Selenium contamination from agricultural drain water in the San Joaquin Valley should be studied by a presidential commission and solutions suggested within three years, Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.) said. Selenium, a naturally occurring element, has caused birth deformities and deaths among wildfowl at Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge. Last month Interior Secretary Donald P. Hodel closed the refuge and ordered farmers to halt the flow of drain water from their land within a year. But at a Los Angeles press conference, Cranston said the government agency has “no credibility” and should be removed from the process of finding a solution to the problem. Cranston also said that a proposal to inject the waste water into old oil wells in Kern County--promoted by Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.)--is opposed by the citizens of Kern County.


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