The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recommended a costly cleanup plan for the polluted Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge that involves digging up selenium-tainted soil and hauling it away. The agency made the recommendation in a report, obtained by the Sacramento Bee, in which it rejected the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's low-cost proposal to deal with the pollution by flooding the 1,283-acre marsh in Merced County. The report was the latest development in a three-year controversy over the federal bird refuge 12 miles north of Los Banos. Selenium, a trace element carried into Kesterson with farm waste water, is blamed for deaths and deformities of hundreds of waterfowl. The bureau estimated in May that its flooding plan would cost between $1 million and $13 million. The excavation and off-site disposal recommended by the wildlife service would cost closer to $100 million, or more.