Now, back to typically depressing fare: California’s Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board said yesterday that it would extend exemptions on pollution limits for farmers, meaning that pesticides, salts, and other pollutants will continue to drain from agricultural fields into the region’s watershed. The exemptions were set to expire on Dec. 31, a deadline enviros had hoped would prompt an aggressive new statewide cleanup effort; instead, water regulators decided to extend waivers for more than 25,000 farms for an additional two years. The board said the extensions come with conditions that will help clean up rivers and streams as well as encourage farmers to work together to begin monitoring water quality and developing voluntary pollution-reduction measures, but skeptical environmentalists will likely challenge the plan in court.