Passed in 1970, the federal National Environmental Policy Act requires lead public agencies to prepare and submit for public review environmental impact reports and statements on major federal projects under their purview with potentially significant environmental effects.
According to the Department of Energy, administrator of NEPA:
Completed in 1979, the New Melones Dam on California’s Stanislaus River includes a 2.4 million acre-feet reservoir and a power-generating capacity of 283 megawatts.
The Central Valley Project facility was built to help with irrigation, flood control and power production. It replaced an older dam from the 1920s that supplied water for agriculture to two local irrigation districts.
A part of the federal Central Valley Project, the Nimbus Dam and its after bay, Lake Natoma, are located 7 miles downstream of Folsom Dam on the American River.
The dam regulates American River flows. Other associated facilities are the Nimbus Powerplant, the Nimbus Salmon and Steelhead Hatchery and the Folsom South Canal. [see also Northern California Water Tours.]
Nitrate—the oxidized form of dissolved nitrogen— is the main source of nitrogen for plants. It occurs naturally in soil and dissipates when the soil is extensively farmed. Thus, nirtrogen fertilizers are applied to replenish the soil. However, these nitrates can be toxic, especially when they enter the food chain via groundwater and surface water.
In California, the State Water Resources Control Board lists nitrate as one of California’s most challenging and growing water problems.