C-WIN and Coalition Send Letter with Concerns about Selenium Contamination and Monitoring

C-WIN and a coalition of 13 other environmental, fishery and tribal interests recently sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Rod McInnis, Southwest Regional Director for the National Marine Fisheries Service and Jared Huffman, Region 9 Administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency.  The letter is a followup to an unanswered letter on the same subject to the Bureau of Reclamation dated April 22, 2013.

The letter expresses concerns with reduced monitoring for selenium discharged into the San Joaquin River from the Grasslands Bypass Project.  The reduced monitoring will hide the ongoing pollution from the project, which has received a 25-year waiver of meeting selenium standards in the San Joaquin River and Mud Slough North.  Bird deformities have occurred in the project area such as the black-necked stilt embryo found (above) in the reuse area. (Photo: HT Harvey & Assoc.)

The coalition also expressed concerns with non-compliance with Endangered Species Act conditions of approval.

After 25 years of exempting the drainers from safe selenium standards, now the drainers are proposing to drastically reduce the monitoring for this pollution and have failed to comply with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Biological Opinion.

Hiding the pollution does not halt its deadly progress in accumulating in the food chain.  The Delta Estuary, a nursery of slow moving water , creates and environment where the dangers of this pollution will magnify.

The promised mirage of treatment and trucking off this hazardous waste to some landfill so it does not deform migratory birds and waterfowl, remains an illusion.


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