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Author Topic: NYS Canal Corporation Prepares the Public for Upcoming EEIP Zoom Call  (Read 87 times)

Doug K

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Just Released to the NYS Canal Corporation website: Read this to familiarize yourself with the Zoom Meeting Sign-in process, if you are new to it.

And hopefully NO ONE will complain that they "didn't know how to use Zoom" as yet another criticism for NYPA, or the Canal Corporation. They are doing their best to enable a successful meeting for public input, now if the public will reciprocate by not bogging down a Zoom Meeting with personal opinions, and deflection to topics not centered on Public Safety, Canal Embankments & Dam Safety.

Doug K

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Everyone shows up at a Zoom call, for the Canal Corporation Embankment work, and we all hear crickets... planned public speakers didn't talk much. Bill Smith did try to make a case for not clearing Pittsford, but wasn't accurate on his assessment of canal danger, or the Towns "right" to keep Pittsford residents living below "unsafe canal embankments" that need to be cleared for PUBLIC SAFETY.

Bill Smith, can you READ? Sir, YOU don't have the RIGHT to keep Canal Neighbors, or the Pittsford Residents living BELOW unkept earthen canal embankments...that the OWNER of the property has cited as UNSAFE and in need of REPAIR!

The ECNA was even caught off guard and only had a small statement that "most neighbors" have more questions, that normally would have been fielded in past Public meetings. That's because the ONLY thing allowed was a 3 minute statement or comment about either the EEIP Guidebook or the Environmental Impact Statement required for SEQRA. You could sense that some of the public was immediately "muted".

No Questions, no rants, and no one from the Facebook group opposing the Canal Embankment work showed up, so I guess "mission accomplished" as viewed from the NYPA side of the equation. In fact the head of the NYS Canal Corporation, Mr. Brian Stratton, was no where to be heard, no comment, no setting the "mood" for the meeting.

The ECNA had submitted nearly 40 Comments or Questions, in two documents, prior to the meeting and nothing was covered. Mainly because most of OUR COMMENTS were in the form of "a question". Like on Jeopardy...

So we will WAIT now to see if we hear back on the comments & questions most asked by Erie Neighbors. And we also want to share them with you now here. If the Canal Corporation won't take a Q & A session "live" we will just have to do it through the ECNA Forum.

Hopefully more neighbors start realizing that a Facebook group is not going to "save the day" and that they need to start thinking about how to best "control and deal with" the removal of trees in their neighborhoods... because in the end this statement is TRUE:

Unsafe Canal Embankment Clearing and Inspection is NOT going to be stopped

All unwanted and invasive embankment vegetation WILL come down because the NYS Canal Corporation HAS shown that the alternative of doing nothing...will lead to the possible drowning of New York residents living below the Canal Embankments, and a flood of water that is about 66 million gallons of wave, running through a 150 foot long breach in the canal. And that is the possible "magnitude" for ANY breach.

Let us know what YOU think about the Canal Corporation's Zoom Meeting on EEIP...and remember.. try to be nice. After all, they are trying to help restore public safety along the Canal and keep the "ditch" operating for another century, it's a monumental task if you consider the shape it's in now.

And the Meeting Host, well she was very cordial, but only acted as "initiator and timer" for comments.

« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 11:43:57 am by Doug K »

Michael Caswell

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Here is what I wrote to Mr Smith and a few others, regarding his comments today.

I would like to contest Bill Smith's comments this morning in the EEIP Zoom Call.

He referred to an expert witness, meaning emeritus Professor Donald Gray, who stated that trees helped consolidate a wooded slope.

Here is a transcript of that post.

In the recent court case when an injunction was filed against the New York Power Authority to stop vegetation removal from the canal Earthen Embankment Dams between Brighton, Pittsford and Fairport,  Mr Donald H Gray (Professor Emeritus)  was called on to provide testimony.

In the petitioners reply Index 2018-945  it clearly states on page 4

Just so this court is not misled into thinking that the presence of trees on canal embankments is not universally scorned, petitioners submit with their reply papers the affidavit of a highly-qualified and distinguished geotechnical engineer who opines that trees growing on the canal embankments enhance structural stability and public safety, and the removal trees will reduce embankment stability and integrity. See affidavit of Donald H. Gray, P.E., sworn to February 21, 2018 (“Dr. Gray Aff.”

I searched the Internet to find all documents written by Dr Gray, and in every case, his articles were written explicitly about NATURAL WOODED SLOPES being clear-cut.

This was obviously a completely different scenario than a levee or an embankment dam, so I wrote to Dr Gray and asked him if he had any documents referring to  levees or embankment dams.

Here is his reply.

Earth dams and levees are both constructed embankments.

They differ mainly in their purpose and type of hydraulic loading.   Earth dams are constructed across a stream or river to create an impoundment.  The impoundment provides water storage, flood control, and recreational opportunities.  An earthen levee is constructed parallel to a river or stream to  prevent flooding of adjacent low-lying areas during periods of high water.  An earthen levee is subjected mainly to tangential-hydraulic forces (scour) whereas a dam is subjected to dynamic hydraulic forces (wave action).

I don’t know of any earth dams where woody vegetation was purposely planted or allowed to grow on a face of the dam.  Such is not the case with earthen levees where vegetation can often be found growing on both the landward and water sides.

 An earthen dam is designed and built to prevent overtopping and minimize through-flow (seepage).   Overtopping of an earth dam is prevented by building the dam high enough.   By comparison earthen levees have been built mainly to withstand breaching that can occur during overtopping, through-flow and lateral scour.  The presence of vegetation on a levee helps prevent erosion that can occur during overtopping and lateral scour.

  I’ve attached a revised version of the article sent to you earlier that examines the risks and benefits of woody vegetation on earthen levees.

According to Dr Gray,  The Erie Canal Embankments are not Levees, but Earthen Embankment dams. The body of water, once called Oxbow Lake, behind the dam is a reservoir, not subject to ‘scouring’ as there is no lateral flow, and it is constructed across the flow of the stream flowing at The Oxbow.

I believe Dr Gray was misled into thinking these were wooded slopes or levees, as he had not actually visited the site.

“I don’t know of any earth dams where woody vegetation was purposely planted or allowed to grow on a face of the dam.“

So, according to Dr. Gray, he states that our canal embankments are indeed dams, for the following reasons.

1. They are constructed across streams.

2. They have a constant level of water, maintained by spillways.

3. There is no lateral flow of water so no ‘scouring’ of the banks is in effect.

4. They are subject to Hydraulic Dynamic forces – pressure and waves.

5. They are not designed to over-top, hence the spillways.

6. Trees are not allowed on dams (See D H Gray, USACE, FEMA, ASDSO)

6. Phreatic line problems can cause seepage, boils etc.

Levees on the other hand constitute –

1. Embankments are build parallel to the water flow of a river or streams.

2. They are only operational in time of flood. (Holding back water)

4. They are designed to withstand over-topping.

5. Trees help withstand scouring caused by rapid flow of water in flood situations.

6. No spillways build into a levee.

7. Phreatic line problems virtually non existent.

He also sent me the following document about Levees: Woody Vegetation on Earthen Levees 2

Finally, Mr Smith stated they had won their case in court in today's Zoom call Nothing is further from the truth, otherwise we wouldn't be here today.
All that happened (I was at the hearing) was NYPA and the NYSCC were instructed to carry out SEQR study, (which they have done), despite the NYDEC initially telling them it wasn't necessary. This EIS and Guidebook for EEIP are both the result of that Court Case

And now it appears that Mr. Smith doesn't like what he asked for, or simply doesn't agree with the facts.

« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 02:34:06 pm by Doug K »