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The State

December 20, 1987

Western San Joaquin Valley farmers who are creating downstream problems with their polluted drainage water are being offered new water subsidies, the McClatchy newspapers have reported. A recent federal study listed nearly two-thirds of the farmland in the region as substandard, qualifying up to 360,000 acres for additional subsidies under an obscure section of the 1982 Reclamation Reform Act. Drainage water has been found to contain trace elements of selenium, a chemical that poisoned the Kesterson food chain and caused massive deformities in ducks and shore birds at the refuge.

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