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Author Topic: NYS Canal Corporation has the FINAL word on Erie Canal Embankment Integrity  (Read 132 times)

Doug K

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That is the question on many Erie Canal Neighbor's minds, and the short answer is VERY SOON.

The ECNA has it from a very "good source" that the new Canal Integrity work will be starting soon. The Earthen Embankment Integrity Program (EEIP) paperwork for SEQR Environmental Impact is due to be released anyday on the NYS DEC Website. That release will "green light" the start of more canal embankment maintenance, earthen dam maintenance that is now 75 years overdue.

    https://www.nyscanalintegrity.org/

So who is our "good source" you ask? Why it's the Canal Corporation Job Board... they just posted the Job for Earthen Embankment Assistant Engineer. Pays quite well at $60 - 90K




And here's a PARTIAL list of job responsibilities, we have highlighted two words here:



It's not that hard to put two and two together here, NYPA is going forward with the Earthen Embankment SAFETY program that is fixing their longstanding Earthen Embankment INTEGRITY issues.

They wouldn't be wasting time and money hiring full time Engineering support if they didn't have a plan to START working on embankments very soon.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2022, 08:25:50 pm by Doug K »

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Doug K

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Finally, after 18 agonizing months waiting for the NYS Canal Corporation "dinosaur management team" to make a step forward they have released their entire NEW and FINAL Earthen Embankment Integrity Program (EEIP) documentation package.

The SEQR Study Released November 30th on the State's DEC Website... it basically said that SAFETY is STILL driving the EEIP work.  That should NOT be a surprise to anyone who understands how public safety projects are run by NYPA

SEQR documentation for EEIP is in a nice little statement here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/enb/20221130_not0.html

All of the released SEQR documents are found on the NYS Canals Embankment Integrity Website:
 


https://www.nyscanalintegrity.org/program-and-maps

And the best read is the 1066 PUBLIC comments made during this whole EEIP process, and how still today many people are dissatisfied with the final answer... that TREES are NOT as important as the possible LOSS of HUMAN LIFE in a Canal Embankment Breach.

https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/FGEIS/DGEIS_Comment_Responses.pdf


And if the Earthen Embankments, that retain water along the Canal are NOT cleared, the possibility of a flood looms larger each passing day... that is simply the truth that was supported by years of SEQR study and experts  in the field of Hydrology and Dam Science that were used to validate that SEQR work on Canal Embankment Dams.

So that final word on this whole Canal Embankment Program is this -


SAFETY

Anyone who can't understand the final word on this program is in need of some serious mental health help.

And unfortunately for many using social media those folks are most likely whining about it now on a Facebook right now, in a local denialist group called Stop the Canal Clear-cut.

The members of this group are still in "dam denial". Many members still cannot understand the Canal is "man-made".

The group still believes that talk of embankment safety is "fear-mongering". The Group's LEADER is the biggest proponent of that misinformation.

This Facebook group has many members who vocally support  Crazy Canal Corporation Conspiracy theories about kickbacks, contracts and land use... still to this day.

And they are all very upset that their group, their leadership and their "grassroots effort" did absolutely nothing to change the minds of NY State agencies that "scenery & shade" for their walk along the top of these Erie Canal Dams on the Empire Trail was more important than the lives and safety of those living below.

Go figure...?


Of special note and interest... it's FULL STEAM AHEAD CAPTAIN... as the Canal Integrity Program gets set to run it's new INSPECTION solution for finding and clearing seeps, leaks and areas of "invasive vegetation" along the 100 miles of Earthen Embankments they still need to clear.

Here's their brand new page on Embankment Inspection using Drones. This is something that many have asked for, WHERE are the dams, HOW bad is their condition and WHAT is the HAZARD RATING based on the Embankment Inspection?




https://www.nyscanalintegrity.org/inspection

Finally, because MANY in our community seem to NOT understand that when you ASK for transparency yo GET just that... here's the Schedule of when Trees will be cleared,  Tree Roots will be removed, and Embankments will be restored... each step outlined in the newly released Embankment Maintenance Manual.




https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/FGEIS/Final_Guide_Book_and_Attachments.pdf


While the Earthen Embankment Integrity Manual & Guidelines does have solutions and best practices for many of the common types of invasive species that frequent the Canal Embankments, and specifically how do deal with irregularities and defects in the outboard slope... the EEIP Guidebook has left out one critical section to help Canal Employees deal with the most invasive pest to date along the Erie Canal... a little humor to end the post.


« Last Edit: December 07, 2022, 06:57:09 pm by Doug K »

Doug K

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Nice article and Audio Clip from PBS Broadcasting regarding the recently released NYS Canal Corporation Embankment Integrity Program.

Finally the news outlets are starting to understand the issue is NOT about saving trees,  its about saving the Erie Canal from a slow, methodical decay of its Navigation Dams.


https://www.wxxinews.org/local-news/2022-12-01/state-releases-new-guidelines-for-clearing-trees-shrubs-from-erie-canal-embankments

And the final word from the NYS Canal Corporation is this:

“This canal means a tremendous amount to communities like Perinton, Fairport, Pittsford, Brockport, the city of Rochester,” Mahar said, describing Monroe County as “the sweet spot” or most scenic stretch of the canal system. “There is a lot of economic activity and tourism that's generated here.

“We believe this program strikes that balance between dam safety … and the community side of it.”
« Last Edit: February 06, 2023, 05:38:08 pm by Doug K »

Doug K

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Just re-read the Earthen Embankment Integrity Program's FINAL SEQR Enviromental FINDINGS Statement known as the EEIP EIS

https://www.nyscanalintegrity.org/s/EEIP-Findings-StatementFinal.pdf

And this FINAL statement is a much more refined version of the original Draft EIS, that all important Enviromental Impact Statement. It's a good read but works hand in hand with the Full SEQR review.

https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/FGEIS/NYSCC_EEIP_Final_GEIS_BlackText.pdf

There is a single statement that was made in this document, that summarizes WHY the EEIP program WILL move forward. It's found on page 9, just before the Conclusion & Signature page, all required by law, in this NYS Environmental Review process.


In considering the balance of the impacts described in the Generic EIS with social, economic and other considerations, the heaviest weight against these impacts and other alternatives is that the EEIP reduces the risk for embankment failure. The benefits to public safety outweigh the potential environmental impacts identified

Read it again: EEIP reduces the risk for embankment failure AND benefits to public safety outweigh the potential environmental impacts

This should bring an end to discussion by those in social media that still want to deny the "public safety" aspects of the EEIP work, trying to call it "fear-mongering", but it probably won't.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2023, 06:42:40 pm by Doug K »

Doug K

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Dear NYS Canal Corporation,

Sending a couple ECNA posts, just for educational purposes...

One shows just how blind a group & certain individuals on social media can be, regarding Erie Canal safety issues. And hopefully should make you all wonder why you try so hard to appease them... that's just wrong.

https://ecna.createaforum.com/the-stop-the-clearcut-argument/i-had-to-chuckle!/msg2359/#msg2359

And another post shows that every time the Canal Corporation believes they have a "solution" it will be viewed as something very different by those opposing your public safety efforts... an opening to suggest something even more bizarre than leaving unsafe dams to their own demise.

https://ecna.createaforum.com/general-discussion/a-conversation/msg2369/?topicseen#msg2369

And hopefully you now see that the ECNA understands your social media adversary more than either NYPA or NYSCC does.

Sadly though you folks at NYS Canals put the ECNA in the same category as this sad little Facebook group... a hindrance not a helper.

NYPA is now holding special private meetings with the STCC just to gain agreement? Shame on you all, for hiding that from the general public.

Does social media set the policy now for "public safety" in the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor?

You make your problems worse by NOT standing up to denial & misinformation from this group, but that doesn't seem to matter.

It's called being complicit... read this.

https://ecna.createaforum.com/the-stop-the-clearcut-argument/why-should-the-ecna-care/

And frankly, I'm not sure if the ECNA should support the Canal Corporation's Embankment Integrity efforts any further, they have been just as wrong as these social misfits on how to handle a NY public safety issue.

Every single opportunity that NYS has had, to put the truth forward about public safety, has been badly handled by a group in Canal Leadership who's worried about how they might look to a misguided, social media group.

It's so sad watching a public safety program become nothing more than a "popularity contest".

And its also wrong for NYS employees to be leading that effort... and risk the safety for New Yorkers who also happen to be Erie Canal Neighbors, living below a Canal System that should probably be closed until further notice...due to infrastructure concerns.

The SAFETY of New York State residents has taken a backseat to appeasing this misguided social media group.

Sadly the ECNA has higher moral & ethical standards than the NYS Canal Corporation or NY Power, and we can't tolerate those who aren't working in the best interest of all New Yorkers.

Read the posts and share with your managers... that's the best we have to offer to a group that's lost its way.

Please, do the right thing here...

Douglas Kucmerowski
Co-Founder Erie Canal Neighbors Association

« Last Edit: February 14, 2023, 05:30:06 pm by Doug K »

Doug K

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This should be a SIMPLE question to understand... Whether trees should be allowed to grow in a forest, next to the Erie canal. The term forest is used loosely but is a concession made to get to the SIMPLE TRUTH. And next to the Erie Canal means that 100 miles of those tress will be growing on earthen dam crests & slopes. Because much of the Erie Canal consists of man-made dams.

So we were thinking, here at ECNA Headquarters, that just maybe Google has the answer to the age old question that is plaguing the New York State Canal Corporation and their Earthen Embankment Integrity effort


Should a forest of TREES grow on an EMBANKMENT dam?

Lately the local Fairport social media opposition to the NYS Canal Corporation Embankment work, has been throwing around the term "natural forest". Of course the NYS Canal Corporation and State Comptroller are calling it "missed maintenance", and NYS DEC defines it as woody invasive vegetation when it's growing on any earthen structure that is IMPOUNDING WATER.

And a water impoundment is also known as a dam... that's the definition.

So we made a concession on using the term forest, to describe invasive vegetation, and we will use the term dam, and it's made of earth. 

So let's ask GOOGLE, after all, we trust Google to find us the best deal on socks, shirts and such at Amazon. And everyone knows that Google has GREAT MAPS, right? And they now handle just most if not all web-based analytical data in the US. Any guess what  the answer will be?





Please note the websites that were scoured for these keywords. Google AI came up with one and a half MILLION hits and these were the very first ones. FEMA, NYDEC... these are the recognized experts on the topics with known publications used country-wide.

What you did not see... any links to social media, including a Facebook Group promoting the idea that these are "not trees on dams". And that website promoting this preposterous idea... it was actually on Google.

https://sites.google.com/view/eriecanalclearcutting/home


As always, we encourage an active discussion about Erie Canal Embankments, that will always include the SAFETY of the entire NYS Canal System.. from Lock to Embankment.