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DDT Discharge Still Polluting SF Bay Near Richmond Despite Clean Up Efforts

RICHMOND (CBS SF/AP) -- A half-century after California officials found that large amounts of the pesticide DDT were discharged into a San Francisco Bay canal, the chemical is still poisoning fish and posing a threat to human health there despite numerous cleanup attempts.

DDT was dumped into the Lauritzen shipping channel near the city of Richmond by the pesticide processing company United Heckathorn from the 1940s through 1966.

In 1990 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency listed the former plant and the canal as one of the most polluted places in the nation, and began trying to clean it.

EPA records show that the last cleanup project, which cost about $12 million, made no progress in the canal.

Recent fish tests found DDT levels at the same or higher levels than tests in 1994.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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