Author Topic: This is EXACTLY why the Canal Corporation started an Embankment Integrity Program  (Read 203 times)

Doug K

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Many people have been stunned by all the work going on with the NY Canal Corporation Embankment Integrity Program... some even still insist this is just a way for New York State to get money.. selling the trees they cut...  on fact they named themselves after that process.

All of this Erie Canal embankment work has been a long time coming from what the ECNA has uncovered recently. As far back as the year 2014, the NY State Comptroller has been sounding the alarm bell on the Erie Canal... here's some interesting information recently uncovered:

Here's the website of the NY State Comptroller:

The actual report that this NYS watchdog Office did about the state of the Erie Canal in 2014:

https://osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093015/14s45.htm

https://osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093015/14s45.pdf

We have put the highlights from that initial 2014-S-45 here:





As you can see the 2014 S-45 report states clearly that the NY Canal Corporation, under the NYS Thruway Authority, has NOT followed "best practices" for it's inspection & maintenance of the Erie Canal System. This is what led to the eventual change of ownership to the New York Power Authority. Once notified about the issues the Thruway Authority was supposed to start inspecting the Erie Canal system correctly and fixing the safety issues. The NY Thruway authority had an initial response to these findings but seem to highlight the COST part of the report

https://osc.state.ny.us/audits/90day/14s45r.pdf

Sadly they could NOT accomplish their routine inspections due to the overgrown mess they had created. They didn't have the budget or resources to even make any progress a whole year after the Comptrollers's report came out. Eventually the Canal Corporation was given to the Power Authority and that is where we are today.

Here's a follow up report from the same department issued in January 2017. This is 2016-F-20 and it's outlining what had happened from the 2014-15 release of the initial Erie Canal Issues Report to that time, noting that the new ownership transfer was in process.

https://osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093017/16f20.htm

What is interesting to note is the response documents from the NEW owners.. New York Power Authority... they immediately understood the issues and created an action plan that they outlined to the State Comptroller.

https://osc.state.ny.us/audits/90day/16f20r.pdf

Here's what that response looked like:





Hopefully you enjoyed a walk down memory lane for this Embankment Program.. it was meant to be more of that ECNA mortar filling in the spaces of the program, how it got to EERP and now to the new Embankment Integrity Program.


« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 12:39:35 pm by Doug K »

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Doug K

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This 2014 State Comptroller Report, or S-45, takes a 20 look back at the NY Canal Corporation and how it manages the flood control structures, and prioritizes it's maintenance activities.

It shows exactly what NYPA stated when they started the Embankment Integrity Program...time to spend the money & fix long standing safety issues. The report shows that the Thruway Authority run Canal Corp had to choose which 1/2 of the problems they wanted to fix when they created their annual budgets. 55% to be exact.

They have never been allowed to work on ALL of the most critical areas before, but that also changed when NYPA took over.

Very interesting and honest look at the Erie Canal from 1992-2014...Read the S-45 yourself.

Doug K

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Lately we have had a few people ask the ECNA why this Canal Embankment maintenance work is being done now.

Well the most obvious answer is related to SAFETY of the Canal System, based on all of the information provided by the NYS Canal Corporation. But really there is much more behind that safety issues than most people understand.

But the ECNA does know why "safety" became so important recently to NYPA, the new owners of the Canal System, and the NYS Canal Corporation who are charged with watching over this State Asset and insure it's safe for the public, compliant with all laws and dam safety rules and guidelines, and the canal system is a sustainable system for the next century of it's life.


It's very simple in fact...


They were TOLD by the State of New York to FIX their Safety Issues in 2015


Really? So how do we know this?

Well it's simple, you just need to follow the "Safety Reports" from the NYS Office of the State Comptroller.

We have brought this subject up before, and showed the report in some very early ECNA Forum Posts, but it deserves another look today. Now that Canal Safety has been brought front & center with the new Canal Corporation Canal Integrity Domain. >>

https://www.nyscanalintegrity.org/

Here's a webpage with all the details we will highlight below:

https://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/2015/05/dinapoli-canal-corp-must-address-gaps

And here's the link to the actual report filed in 2015 and what has caused ALL of this Canal Embankment work to transpire. It is also the impetus behind the recent "change in ownership" of the Canal Corporation from the NYS Thruway, to New York State Power.

https://www.osc.state.ny.us/files/audits/2017-12/sga-2015-14s45.pdf

It appears that all that the Thruway Authority did with this State Comptroller Report was to "ignore it".



Here's the opening statement of that Canal Safety Report" highlights show key takeaways





And as you dig into this report the information shows a Canal System on the brink of failure and nothing being done by either the Thruway or Canal Corporation to do anything about it...but make excuses. In all fairness, the Canal Corporation was NOT seen at fault, the issue was Thruway Management. The following pages show more key findings and a few nice charts showing just how widespread the safety issues are for the Canal System... the NUMBER ONE issue was a "failure to complete proper inspections".

And what did we recently hear from the NYS Canal Corporation in their Embankment Integrity Meetings?

"If we can't see it, we can't inspect it"... Earthen Dams need to be cleared






And here's more from inside the 2015 Safety Report...








So now you know... this Canal Embankment work isn't about "clear-cutting trees for lumber value". It's not about frivolously spending State Money. It's not about the "environment or shade". And it certainly is not about trying to "agitate" a Facebook Group in Perinton & Fairport.

It is about ACCOUNTABILILITY to the People of the State of NY, and the State Comptroller, who represents their needs and safety.

It is about SUSTAINABILITY of the oldest water highway in America and insuring it gets repaired to meet it's next 100 years of life intact.

It is about PUBLIC SAFETY as evident by a 25 page Safety Audit that showed just the opposite... the Canal was a THREAT to Erie Canal Neighbors & Communities way back almost 7 years ago.

And sadly... it still is TODAY!



Please help support Earthen Embankment Maintenance and Clearing along the Erie Canal... the life you save, may be your own.

https://www.change.org/p/jacquie-shillinger-support-vegetation-removal-from-erie-canal-for-safety-inspections?

https://www.change.org/p/erie-canal-neighbors-friends-help-save-the-oxbow-lake-dam-ask-the-perinton-town-government-to-help-protect-perinton-fairport-from-a-flood
« Last Edit: November 04, 2021, 10:47:52 am by Doug K »

Doug K

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For all those in the greater Rochester area that are continuing to deny the issue with dangerous trees on Canal Embankment...this is EXACTLY why the NYS Canal Corporation is ignoring a group on Facebook saying "nothing is wrong with Canal Safety"



And if that is NOT enough to convince you of the danger that invasive vegetation ANYWHERE has created along these earthen embankments that line 125 miles of the Erie Canal system, take a look at this video that shows how a DEAD TREE at the bottom of the canal embankment caused a large sinkhole next to the Empire Trail that has the canal flood gates closed from Holley to Gasport

https://youtu.be/-5_-FpApNm8


The Canal Corporation has been very clear about why they need to clear all these earthen dams.

The State of NY also has been very clear with the Canal Corporation, they need to get their property in compliance with NYS DEC regulations about properly inspecting their Earthen Dams, some of which haven't had a proper inspection in over 75 years.


Like the Canal Corporation has stated many time now... "They can't inspect what they can't see, they can't see the issues until they clear the invasive growth"


Michael Caswell

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A dearth of Dam Safety Experts.
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2022, 03:08:53 pm »
A letter by Mr Justin Driscoll to Mr John Buyce   ---

https://ecna.createaforum.com/general-discussion/erie-canal-embankment-issues-are-not-a-new-problem-uncovered-2014-nys-report/msg382/#msg382

--- outlines a plan to remove trees and shrubs from the embankments, and also to employee Dam Safety Employees. These positions have been proved difficult to fill because there is a limited supply of qualified individuals, and private sector salaries are generally higher.

In this very specialized field, I would have thought there were plenty of experts, as we seem to get so much advice from Ms Agte & Maier and her supporters. Obviously, the NYPA didn't think their knowledge was up to par, otherwise they'd have hired them.

I jest of course!

Sad!  Very sad!