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The State

October 22, 1986

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said it has filed a final environmental impact statement on plans to clean contaminated ponds at Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge by flooding some of them. The bureau hopes to begin flooding Kesterson's southern ponds in western Merced County next March in an attempt to lock selenium in sediment. Selenium, an element needed in minute amounts, is toxic in larger quantities and has been blamed for bird deaths and deformities at Kesterson where it was transported in farm drain runoff water. The bureau's $2.3-million proposal, dubbed "wet flex," has been criticized by environmental groups who contend it will fail to solve the problem and recommended development of alternative wildfowl habitat.

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