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Groundwater Contamination Drives California Farmers, Residents to Court

Environmental groups are demanding stricter rules about how much fertilizer farmers can use

Near fields awash with strawberries and greens, Ileana Miranda and her family pay $72 a month to get water piped into their home in a rural California community — and that’s before they consume a drop.

They pay to bring it from more than a mile away because the groundwater beneath them has been contaminated with nitrates leached into the soil from years of large-scale farming.

Now, the San Jerardo cooperative — where Miranda and 300 others live — and environmental organizations have sued the…

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