Author Topic: New York Canal Corporation moves forward with Erie Canal Embankment Integrity Program  (Read 105 times)

Doug K

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As the final earthen Canal Embankments are being restored, with privacy screen planting along the Erie, west of Brockport, the New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC)is working on it's final draft of the Embankment Rehabilitation Guidebook for future earthen dam clearing though it's new EEIP effort.

EEIP, which stands for the Earthen Embankment Integrity Program, will take over where their original work west of Rochester left off with a notable exception. The new Integrity Program does NOT have a 'blanket' restoration of larger vegetation like the original EERP work did. Instead it will remove all undesired & unsafe vegetation growing now on the canal embankments, and replace with grass or a wild flower mix of vegetation. It's all covered in their Lead Agency Letter that was sent to all affected NYS agencies & municipalities that would be affected.

You can read the opening statement to each agencies director below:



The New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC), a subsidiary of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), plans to implement a comprehensive canal system Earthen Embankment Integrity Program to restore, maintain and manage the integrity of earthen embankments within the New York State Canal System, which includes the modernized Barge Canal and other properties having earthen embankments under NYSCC’s jurisdiction.

This requires the proper inspection and maintenance of the embankments including any and all drainage, instrumentation, vegetation, animal burrows, seeps, and concrete, masonry or other features associated with the embankments. This program aims to formally establish practices and guidelines for management of earthen embankments, focusing on reducing the risk of embankment failure, and supporting life safety, asset preservation, and environmental protection.

The program will also identify reasonable alternative management practices to tree removal in areas within close proximity to recreational uses, parks, municipal, residential and commercial areas.

Having a documented program will provide greater transparency in decision-making.

NYSCC has classified the Embankment Maintenance Program as a State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) Type I Action.

As such, pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 617 and 21 NYCRR Part 461, NYSCC has completed the attached Part 1 of the Full Environmental Assessment Form (FEAF) and will conduct a Coordinated Review among the potential SEQRA Involved Agencies. To ensure no areas have been missed, the project area contemplates all lands in and along the canal system where there may be embankments.

NYSCC has identified your agency as a potential Involved or Interested Agency. If you believe that your agency has discretionary authority over any aspect of the proposed action, as described in the attachments, and you concur that NYSCC should act as the Lead Agency, please sign below and return this form within thirty days of the date of this letter to NYSCC’s consultant at:

Bergmann
Attention: NYSCC Earthen Embankment Integrity Program
280 East Broad Street, Suite 200
Rochester New York 14604



https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/SEQR%20Lead%20Agency%20Letter.pdf


It's all covered on the NYSCC Embankment Integrity website





https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/Environmental_Assessment_Form.html

« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 01:47:46 pm by Doug K »

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Doug K

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It's Official. The Earthen Embankment Integrity Program, EEIP for short, has a new Guidebook.





Erie Canal Embankment Maintenance wasn't "stopped" by a local Facebook Group, the new EEIP Guidebook has been released, and explains EVERYTHING someone might want to know about what, where when and how Canal Earthen Embankments will be cleared. It's extensive, thorough, and has a few Appendix items like a "Best Practices Guide

You can read the EEIP Guidebook here:


https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/DGEIS/2021-03-09_DRAFT_FINAL_Embankment_Maintenance_Guidebook.pdf

 

And here's the link to Best Practices:

https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/DGEIS/Attach1_Final_Draft_Embankment_Maintenance_Best_Practices_2021.03.10.pdf


Be sure to READ the PREFACE - It sets the tone of the document and also DEFINES what an "EMBANKMENT" is... and WHY they need to be cleared.




And for those who are interested in discussing YOUR ideas about the EEIP Embankment Guidebook and how to BEST help the New York State Canal Corporation handle the task of making these earthen dams safer, extending the life of the NYS Canal System, you are welcome to join a VIRTUAL Meeting to discuss the Guidebook and your thoughts on Canal System Maintenance & Safety on July 14, 2021.





Signup information is in the link below:

https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/Registration.html
« Last Edit: June 26, 2021, 10:54:01 am by Doug K »

Doug K

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EEIP Guidebook Virtual Meeting Information
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2021, 04:17:29 pm »
For those interested in attending the VIRTUAL meeting for the NYS Canal Corporation EEIP Guidebook Review (via Zoom)

You will need to sign-up using the NYS Canal Corporation Form if you would like to SPEAK at one of the two sessions, be sure to pick one:



https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=zASMaftw_kOueb2vp4eHjQVp3p8elQFLpFHBitNFo9BUQjdWQzFXV09DOFNFWDRORUpYMlk3WEdUNy4u

You may need to try the link on the virtual meeting information page - to update your version of Zoom.

https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/Registration.html



Once you are done with the Zoom Update, you should see a pop-up alert for the time of the meeting on July 14



Hope to "see" you at the meeting, the ECNA will be sitting in BOTH sessions of this EEIP Guidebook Review and may be speaking on behalf of several Canal Neighbors who will be affected by the maintenance work from this Embankment Integrity Program, and have approached us for help already.



Here's the link to the EEIP Guidebook Zoom Meeting, tentatively scheduled for July 14, 10 am & 7 pm


https://nypa-gov.zoom.us/j/84562401069

« Last Edit: June 22, 2021, 04:20:26 pm by Doug K »

Doug K

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Sometimes it's the "devil in the details" that show the REAL STORY, and the recently updated NYS Canal Corporation Earthen Embankment Integrity Program, known as EEIP, is no exception. With the new EEIP Package just released, there is a long awaited mapping of Flood Inundation Areas (FIA) for some of our local Towns & Villages. These maps would show WHERE flooding would occur over a two-hour long event, and how HIGH the flood waters would rise in a given area around that simulated breach.

The news is NOT good for places like Greece & Brockport.

First, you should go and read the Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for the EEIP work, especially Appendix B, which is where the following information was taken from. There's much more to read in detail, we are only showing the overview of what went on in the background to get the information released. This is all part of the required State Environmental Quality Review process that the Canal Corporation has completed as a first step to getting more canal embankments cleared of hazardous vegetation and replaced with grass coverings.


https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/DGEIS/NYSCC_EEIP_Draft_GEIS_2-5-2021_Appx_B.pdf


Here's the First page of the Risk Exposure Statement, laying out what will be covered



Follow up pages will cover the assumptions modeled to get the Flood Inundation Zones mapped, including variables that matter most



This page details why unwanted, woody, vegetation is a major issues for Erie Canal Earthen Embankments, and their health & safety, long with that of it's neighhbors.


And finally the Second Part of this Appendix B shows the Breach Analysis Flood Mapping for several areas in the western section of the NYS Canal System.



Here's the Flood Inundation Map for Brockport & Hulberton... Brockport is most alarming as the Canal Corporation chose the High Hazard Dam at the Smith Street Spillway Embankment section as the starting point for the Breach Simulation. That particular area is already on the NYS Dam Registry as a "problem" that needs to be fixed.

You can read more about this impounding structure here: https://ecna.createaforum.com/general-discussion/t762/msg1294/#msg1294
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Just wanted to add this as well, it's a section DIRECTLY from the GEIS for the Embankment Program and spells out EXACTLY WHY this work is needed. From EEIP Environmental Statement Appendix B Page 7:

Canal embankments, many of which are covered with trees and difficult to inspect, likely have a higher failure probability than grass-covered embankment dams. It can be assumed that the probability of failure due to seepage or a poorly maintained earthen canal embankment is at least double that for a well-maintained embankment dam.

The presence of tree roots in the embankment, and the hindrance to full inspection caused by the presence of vegetation, both increase the seepage failure probability in the canal embankment.

Therefore, the combined probability of failure for a well-maintained embankment dam that is full all the time would be the same as for a poorly maintained canal embankment that is full for half the year

Doug K

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Yes, we do have Flood Inundation maps for some of the Greece NY area, these are specifically showing a pair of Canal Breaches in and around the Elmgrove Rd - Ridgeway Ave area. As you will see in the images, the amount of NEW homes built in the Flood Zone, compared to earlier mapping, is amazing.

Even more amazing, most likely NONE of the people, who's houses would be surrounded by 4-6' of canal water in the event of a breach, even know they are in possible danger...which may be the biggest tragedy of all here. Some do not even think the Canal water can reach their neighborhoods, but the only need to drive UPHILL to the canal to see that it's true.


We have to post this map separately due to image constraints in the Forum... please share with canal neighbors you may know in this area.
 



Doug K

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And of course, right on cue, the newly released EEIP Guidebook PACKAGE has also prompted an update to the NYS Canal Corporation's EEIP website, specifically the Projected Schedule of Milestones and the Frequently Asked Questions page... or FAQs. May want to take a read of both.

The latter item is of SPECIAL NOTE, as anyone who wants to discuss changes to this Guidebook needs to insure that the Question 3 is addressed (Safety of Erie Canal Neighbors & communities) as well as Question 6 ( Scientific Evidence Supporting Earthen Dam Remediation).




https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/FAQ.html



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



As a closing note, the ECNA will be attending the July 14th Guidebook meeting, to represent Canal Neighbors and give them insight and a voice to what happens as a result of Embankment Repair  & Maintenance.[/size]

And for those who may be attending simply to "disrupt" these EEIP Review Meetings, like a particular Facebook Group in the past...

Just because someone may not like the answers in the EEIP Guidebook, or doesn't believe Canal Embankments are unsafe or might disagree with the "science" around Earthen Embankment Safety, those don't make that person "right" in their assumption...

It only means that those individuals are narrow-minded, and most likely self-serving in their pursuit to IGNORE PUBLIC SAFETY, and keep the Erie Canal System lined with unsafe, overgrown and highly hazardous earthen embankments.

Remember what they say about people that "assume"...


And remember one important FACT... Until the EEIP program clears unwanted vegetation along these earthen structures, those UNSAFE EMBANKMENTS keep Erie Canal neighbor's & communities, that are living below the dams UNSAFE and in DANGER of potential floods.

« Last Edit: July 01, 2021, 01:11:50 pm by Doug K »