Calif wildlife officials: Runoff pond plan needs work

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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California wildlife officials say a pond proposed for disposing of toxic water from agriculture in the state’s Central Valley could harm wildlife and needs more review.

The Tulare Lake Drainage District has proposed creating an 1,800-acre evaporation pond to capture farming-related runoff in Kings and Kern counties. The district says the huge pond would allow farming on 18,000 acres of land with salty groundwater.

Officials with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said Friday that the proposal didn’t clearly identify where the toxins would be coming from and that the 3.6 acres the district had promised to preserve for wildlife was insufficient.

The agency asked for a full environmental review.

Selenium-laced agricultural runoff in the Tulare Lake Basin has in the past been found to cause deformities in bird embryos.

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