Author Topic: DAM is missing from Embankment.  (Read 11 times)

Michael Caswell

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DAM is missing from Embankment.
« on: June 26, 2020, 06:13:08 am »
Ms Agte's latest rant!

Elizabeth R. Agte
9 hrs
My comment written yesterday..deadline for comments is July 3, 2020.

June 24, 2020
To whom it concerns:
I am submitting my comment about the NYSCC scoping document, specifically the Null Alternative and the Ad Hoc Alternative.
First, due to their brevity and some of the language used, I don’t think that the Canal Corporation expects either of these alternatives to be taken seriously. This goes back to the Canal Corporation/NYPA saying there is only ONE way to treat earthen embankments that provides 100% safety. (Which in itself is not fact-based and is false, there is no such thing at a 100% sure solution.)
The null alternative is obviously untenable, because NYPA cannot do nothing or it would face lawsuits. So even entering it into the scoping document is sarcastic at best.
The ad hoc alternative isn’t much better. It uses words that suggest it is also as stupid an idea as doing nothing with phrases like “without the benefit of a formalized plan” or “undefined range of actions” or “lacks clearly defined cohesive planning processes”.
The dictionary definition of “ad hoc” is: created or done for a particular purpose as necessary. A synonym is expedient.
We at STOP the CANAL CLEAR CUT have been asking NYPA since day one if they have been documenting their actions in order to create a paper trail going forward. Collecting data is absolutely necessary for any venture or they have no historical perspective, and no idea if they are constantly reinventing the wheel. At the very first meeting in Perinton January, 2018 we asked if soil samples had been collected. If the number of trees cut had been cataloged as far as number, age, condition. When they started to remove stumps we asked again, was similar data collected about the root balls when they were removed? Were there any signs of seepage? How deep did the root balls extend? In summary, was any science done to determine if any of those old trees were of danger? Has any documentation been done to determine if the new embankments are more or less stable? We continue to be told that the information is not available or collected.
To me that would suggest that NYPA is already operating “without the benefit of a formalized program” with “an undefined range of actions”.
I think the ad hoc alternative is dismissive and lacks in positive substance. One can have an ad hoc solution that is absolutely formalized. An ad hoc solution can absolutely have a defined range of actions. An ad hoc solution can absolutely “ensure long range integrity of earthen embankments.”
This document intentionally makes the ad hoc alternative sound unstable, unsafe and guided by randomness and chaos. The “tailored approach” that NYPA promised us two and a half years ago, is anything but random or chaotic, as long as professionals and scientists and arborists, and ecologists are consulted in a plan that is wise, tampers as little as possible, and is expeditious . Do what needs to be done and not more.
I know that the people who work at NYPA are smart, intelligent people, so I don’t need to continue to reiterate the absolute necessity of formulating an ad hoc portion of the document that is worthy. What is in the scoping document now is showing their arrogance.
We must remember that we are talking about a maintenance program for trees on embankments. Trees that have never caused a canal breach. Having a twelve page plan for tree removal and one half page that suggests there might be a way to keep trees says, “but not really…”
Do what needs to be done and no more.

Sounds like a desperate last minute attempt to change the inevitable.

Here's the main point.  -- Ms Agte says - "We must remember that we are talking about a maintenance program for trees on embankments. "
Did you notice a big word is missing? (actually it's quite small)  DAM!  I mean Embankment DAM! They just can't bring themselves to use the word DAM. Because DAM is completely different to 'Embankment'. It brings in a completely different set of rules, which don't bode well for trees on a DAM. All the experts agree, no trees on a dam! It's dangerous, and by Agte et al continuing with this line, they are putting people's lives at risk. Shame on them.

And lest we forget, The STCC called in an expert witness in their lawsuit, and he testified in court on their behalf.  He later recanted this statement, as he had no idea the STCC were discussing a DAM, and not an embankment or levee, until we told him.

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

The STCC has, it seems, conveniently forgotten this comment from Professor Gray.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 06:46:11 am by Michael Caswell »

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Michael Caswell

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Re: DAM is missing from Embankment.
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2020, 01:13:02 pm »

Why on earth would you catalog dead trees?
Why would NYPA get a soil sample from an earthen dam when they will be adding tons of embankment soil to the outboard slope?
What's the purpose of cataloging all this?
It will be GRASS from now on!