San Joaquin Valley Cities Divert Cleanup Funds

"A handful of San Joaquin Valley cities and public agencies have used millions of dollars meant for filtering contaminated water for entirely unrelated purposes, records and interviews show.

At least 16 cities, school districts and water districts in the region received a total of nearly $7 million in the 1990s from legal settlements with oil and chemical companies that produced a toxic pesticide called DBCP. The oily substance was used by farmers for decades and seeped into underground water sources before it was banned.

But at least five of those agencies, collectively, have spent or loaned out $6 million or more from the settlements on projects unrelated to water quality. Some can't account for how all of the money was spent."

Chris Collins reports for the Fresno Bee June 20, 2009.

Monday, June 22, 2009