Author Topic: Are our town supervisors complying with the law?  (Read 30 times)

Michael Caswell

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Are our town supervisors complying with the law?
« on: April 08, 2019, 06:57:26 am »
Could our Town Supervisors, a Wayne County Judge, and members of a group known as Stop The Canal Clear Cut, be advocating for or actually guilty of "breaking the law"?

There's a Law called THE NATIONAL DAM SAFETY ACT that is addressing potential flood issues like we have with the Erie Canal. It has standardized the approach to Dam Safety in our country and it requires Dam Owners, especially municipal power companies, to fix issues with their Dams.

See THE NATIONAL DAM SAFETY ACT OF 2006 (Public Law 109-460) & 2014
(Title III, Subtitle A of the Conference Report to HR 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act)

Here's a copy of the text of that Law
https://damsafety.org/sites/default/files/National%20Dam%20Safety%20Program%20Background-2014.pdf

This document first spells out by definition, what a DAM is. So now we can put to bed all the crap about levees, dams, wooded hillsides, and "special cases for the Erie Canal" or whatever fairy tale folks can come up with to try to pass off the Erie Canal Embankments as something other than DAMS.

Erie Canal embankments DO NOT fall into a category which excludes NYPA from removing vegetation from these earthen embankments.

DEFINITION of a DAM: DAM.-The term 'dam'-

(A) means any artificial barrier that has the ability to impound water, wastewater, or any liquid-borne material, for the purpose of storage or control of water, that-
(i) is 25 feet or more in height from-
(I) the natural bed of the stream channel or watercourse measured at the downstream toe of the barrier; or
(II) if the barrier is not across a stream channel or watercourse, from the lowest elevation of the outside limit of the barrier; to the maximum water storage elevation; or

(ii) has an impounding capacity for maximum storage elevation of 50 acre-feet or more; but

(B) does not include-
(i) a levee; or
(ii) a barrier described in subparagraph (A) that-
(I) is 6 feet or less in height regardless of storage capacity; or
(II) has a storage capacity at the maximum water storage elevation that is 15 acre-feet or less regardless of height; unless the barrier, because of the location of the barrier or another physical characteristic of the barrier, is likely to pose a significant threat to human life or property if the barrier fails (as determined by the Director).

These statements define what a Dam is & isn't. Based on the description, ALL of the Erie Canal Embankments in the three towns of Pittsford, Perinton and Brighton meet the definition of a Dam and therefore should be considered Dams.

The embankments around our Towns are more than 25 feet high and all Erie Canal Embankments hold back more than 50 acre-feet of water, about 16 million gallons of potential flood water. That last statement has been confirmed by the Canal Corporation many times publicly.

If fixing the Erie Canal Embankments is not about safety to some folks in Rochester, then it eventually will come down to following the Law. There is NO choice here, you either agree it's the right thing to do for safety, or it's the right thing to do BECAUSE it's the LAW.

Some of our Town Supervisors, members of a group called STCC and a Wayne County Judge look like they are advocating breaking the law by opposing the proper maintenance of these dams per the Owner's requirements.

Our Town Leaders have FAILED to accept the fact that many of their residents are actually living in DAM HAZARD ZONES.

They have allowed large residential areas to be constructed, potentially in harms way in these Flood Inundation areas.

They have failed to provide remedial maintenance and are actually stopping the NY Canal Corporation from doing this much needed work.

They have failed to provide emergency procedures or a flood alert, in the event of a dam breach, and continue to leave us all without these systems.

And what I find incredible is that these same folks have failed to accept written Engineer Inspection Reports stating quite clearly that these dams are FEMA & DEC Class C HIGH RISK HAZARDS, and worse, they have been unable to conduct thorough inspections BECAUSE OF THE DENSE VEGETATION, which the Dam Inspection Reports recommended be REMOVED.

2006 Dam Safety Act Information
https://ecna.createaforum.com/general-discussion/the-erie-canal-and-50-acre-feet-why-is-that-so-important/

You might like to ask your Town Supervisor where he stands these days on this topic.
bsmith@townofpittsford.org
william.moehle@townofbrighton.org
channa@perinton.org

You might like to ask your Senator about this also:
funke@nysenate.gov

For those who want... here's a poll on the ECNA Website where your voice can be heard...let your Town Leaders know how you feel.

https://ecna.createaforum.com/erie-canal-embankment-integrity-program-(eip)/should-pittsford-brighton-perinton-reconsider-their-fight-against-erie-canal-emb/

Here are 266 people who support the NYPA for vegetation removal. I closed this petition a while ago, to submit these results. I suspect the numbers supporting this will be much greater now. http://chng.it/SzCkvXKx86

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Doug K

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Mike,

It's a great question, one that I'm sure will create a stir in your Town as concerned residents start to change the narrative from "Trees & Dams" to Safety & Dams once the Embankment Safety Program returns to start clearing these dams in the Fall of 2019

After reading your message again, I am still mystified why Nextdoor thought the post was controversial enough to pull it off the Fairport Nextdoor website. It appears to be just a message questioning what role town & village leadership plays in protecting their residents from unforeseen dangers like these unsafe, nearly invisible, embankment dams. If our Village Leaders had taken a stand against safety of the residents, they would have been met with immediate opposition, which happened in some  villages out this way late in 2017

For those who do not know, this posted message you see here started on the Fairport Nextdoor Website App, where Mike placed it as a warning to his neighbor's. Once it landed there the Leadership of the Stop the Canal ClearCut, one Ms. Agte herself, thought that reporting Mike to Nextdoor was "better" for their MUTUAL neighbors than actually having the conversation about Unsafe Dams in the Fairport community. Mike's message moved the conversation from clearing dams for SAFETY reasons to making sure they are clear to comply with the LAW, per our country's Dam Safety Programs.

You see Ms. Agte doesn't really believe there is any safety issue with these aging, tree INFESTED embankment dams... the worst "invasive" plant species that an Earthen Dam could ever see. From a casual observation it appears the STCC had no defense against Dam Safety Laws being broken so the best plan was to complain to Nextdoor and have more "evidence" against allowing Trees to live on Dams simply removed.

She claimed that Nextdoor is "not" about this sort of topic...  safety of residents for those Nextdoor Neighborhood.

She was wrong also wrong about that... go read their mission statement.



Folks, go and read what Mike has had to combat in the Town of Perinton, Village of Fairport.. the hotbed of STCC activity

https://ecna.createaforum.com/the-stop-the-clearcut-argument/stcc-unhappy-with-fairport-nextdoor-post-regarding-national-dam-safety-laws/

For those in Perinton, Pittsford, Brighton, Fairport...and everyone else who is having a hard time imaging there are DAMS along the Erie Canal

Please, just look at the pictures and stop being so foolish with your own safety and that of your family







Doug K

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So the ECNA is not accused of making "false statements" about the STCC remarks on Nextdoor, here is Ms. Agte's post on her own webpage, trying to explain why Mike's original posting was "all wrong" for Nextdoor.



What's truly amazing is that somehow in her "passion" to insure Mr. Caswell's message about Village Leadership "shirking" on their responsibility would never see the light of day,  Ms. Agte actually accomplished something that Mike would have preferred, but could not do himself...he's not allowed to join the Stop the Canal ClearCut group.

Ms. Agte actually put that Nextdoor post up on the Stop the Canal ClearCut website where it would do the MOST good in educating those who need it most... and I want to personally thank her for doing that... from the Erie Canal Neighbor's Association.


« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 08:42:25 am by Doug K »