Author Topic: Final Generic Environmental Statement Released for EEIP Embankment Work  (Read 130 times)

Doug K

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This is a good read and perspective on what's really missing from the recently released Canal Corporation statement for the Environmental Impact of their Embankment Program.

It's about getting an ASSURANCE from the Canal Corporation that public safety along the NYS Canal System will never again be put in jeopardy by a lack of inspection, regular maintenance & proper, timely repairs.

It's about INSURANCE that all of the dams along the Canalway, both concrete & earthen types are registered with the New York State DEC and their NY State Dam Registry.

You can read it on our main website:

https://ecna.us/earthen-embankment-integrity-program/nycc-embankment-dam-integrity-environmental-statement-whats-missing/




Doug K

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Just out, the draft of the FINAL version of the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for the NYS Canal Corporation's work on their Earthen Dam Safety Issues. It also is accompanied by an updated Earthen Embankment Integrity Program (EEIP) Schedule of Milestones chart. They aren't ever late on this schedule, it just gets adjusted each time another step in the process gets completed.



Source: https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/Project_Timeline.html


This paperwork step of embankment clearing, is the required State Environmental Quality Review Forms and Declarations, also known as SEQR. This form is needed before the work of clearing embankments that are unsafe, according to the owners, can be restarted under this new EEIP banner. It outlines what is planned, what has been considered, and what happens if they have an unforeseen issue.

For those keeping score on the Earthen Embankment Integrity work, this step was made possible as a the result of the 2018 lawsuit brought on by a few well-meaning communities along the Erie, all who wanted to fight back on how fast this public safety program was being run. So due diligence was done when these folks filed an Article 78 that caused the FULL environmental review steps taken.

You can read the entire FINAL version here:


https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/EEIP_Final_Scope.pdf

I have preened the most important sections below, in a few images. Basically it comes down down to what the OWNERS of the Canal System are trying to do, and what happens when they hit a snag. In addition, they also discuss what would happen if they did nothing in their Reasonable Alternatives section.







Here's a little more about the two NYS DEC Laws mentioned in that Mitigation Section. These provide a way for the Embankment Restoration workers to remove any and all BURROWING ANIMALS from the embankment dams, even if they have an 'endangered' classification. The dam owners have understood they might have a problem here, and have provided the method to deal with it.

By the way, this addition to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement will prevent more well-meaning community members from trying to halt work due to 'endangered species' and DECREASE the need for the NYS Canal Corporation or it's parent, the New York Power Authority, to pay for litigation & court costs brought on by frivolous lawsuits in the future.



https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/68645.html

https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/environmental-conservation-law/env-sect-11-0535.html

https://casetext.com/regulation/new-york-codes-rules-and-regulations/title-6-department-of-environmental-conservation/chapter-i-fish-and-wildlife/subchapter-j-miscellaneous-regulations/part-182-endangered-and-threatened-species-of-fish-and-wildlife-species-of-special-concern-incidental-take-permits

Next step in the EEIP process will be Public Meetings & Community Input to review the draft Environmental Statements, and to see the new EEIP Embankment Remediation Handbook, that will spell out what gets removed and where...and hopefully when these unsafe dams can get repaired and the current requirement for Flood Insurance and FEMA Flood Zone ratings can return to "pre-EEIP days.

Doug K

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It figures, the people MOST responsible for the extra work it took to create all this SEQR paperwork, are the ones who now want to demean it in some way.

Sadly this Facebook group also sees the writing on the wall when it comes to their cause at stopping the repair of the Erie Canal and the efforts by it's new Owners to make all New Yorkers SAFE again from unsafe earthen dams that we call the Erie Canal.



The words Dam Safety Program have been used, and the fact that if these Canal Embankment issues don't get properly repaired than thousands of New York residents will suddenly find themselves in new FEMA Flood Zones that require mandatory flood insurance until they are repaired


You don't have to take my word for it...go and look at the documents and compare for yourself: https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/index.html




Doug K

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When I read this post today from our friends at the Stop the Canal Clear-Cut I almost fell out of my chair laughing...


 

This statement is coming from a group on Facebook, that has wholly denied what the Owners of the NYS Canal System have stated about their unsafe Erie Canal Embankments that needed to be cleared & repaired. Because in fact those embankments are now a public safety issue for all of NY State.

This statement is coming from a group on Facebook that called themselves the Stop the Canal Clear-Cut when this whole Embankment Safety effort started. And that one decision simplified the entire NYS Erie Canal safety issue to their own idea that "trees were being harvested for profit".

This statement is coming from a group that now is fighting to keep dangerous trees on unsafe dams all in the name of "shade", ignoring the safety issues that neighbors and canal communities have to deal with as a result of living among high flood-hazard dams, like mandatory flood insurance.

It's very sad when a group that claims to have "all the answers", can't figure out that the STATEMENT their leader said is a "good start" was actually added to the draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (dGEIS) in DIRECT OPPOSITION TO A FACEBOOK GROUP'S EXISTENCE & OVERALL PURPOSE!

The NYS Canal Corporation added this statement to show that a bunch of people calling themselves the Stop the Canal Clear-Cut group, are "all wrong" about why the Erie Canal Earthen Embankment Integrity Program exists. The STCC has stated all along it's about harvesting trees, and the NYS Canal Corporation flatly denied that idea with this SINGLE STATEMENT in the dGEIS release. Read it again...

NYSCC’s proposed project should not be simplified to a system-wide tree removal program.


Because it's not about taking trees away, it's about RESTORING public safety in and around the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor for all of New York

But some people won't ever understand that they are fighting on the "wrong side", for the wrong reasons. Just like those "patriots" who stormed the Capital on January 6th. And that is the saddest part of all, this unbridled ignorance of public safety that has become contagious with others, all because of "social media" & Facebook.

If anyone out there knows Ginny Maier, please wake her up to the reality she seems so intent on ignoring at all cost...

Please remind her that it was her, and her Facebook group, that ASKED for these SEQR Environmental Statements to be created. The least she could do is to try to understand them and how they impact overall Erie Canal Earthen Embankment Integrity.


Because unlike the name of the Tree Clear Cutting Facebook group she represents, the SAFETY of Erie Canal Communities and Neighbors "should not be simplified to a system-wide tree removal program"... right?

« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 10:41:13 am by Doug K »