Author Topic: How long will this group IGNORE the words "Unsafe Canal Embankments"?  (Read 12 times)

Doug K

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It's October 2019, exactly 2 years to the month when my neighbors in Brockport asked me to fight against the Erie Canal Embankment Project. I listened to their concerns and request for help, but also wanted to find my "own" truth.

After all the topic was SAFETY.. and right in our own backyards. This is what our backyard dam looks like

My wife & I  contacted the NY Canal Corporation about this canal bank clearing thing and they came to our home in Brockport to explain the dynamics of embankment dams & dam safety. They also told us the dam behind our house, all covered with trees, was unsafe, leaking, and needing repairs that had been overlooked for 80 years. They stated there were miles of these unsafe dams stretching from Medina to Lyons and all of them were a threat to the communities around them and could result in loss of life & property if they breached. I was an Engineer my whole career, knew quite a bit about safety issues but little about Earthen Dams.

That has all changed after 2 years, I did learn about Earthen Dams, and how & why they fail sometimes. I learned that our Erie Canal Earthen dam issue is one of many in our country right now. It's all about aging infrastructure, and how to fix it. I learned there are now laws passed to insure Dam Safety Compliance in the United States. I also learned that NYS Canal Corporation had used Constructive Notice to insure that ALL of Rochester heard the words Unsafe Erie Canal Embankments... loud & clear.

I figured out myself, right away, that the Canal Corporation had a big Public Safety issue on their hands and needed to correct it somehow. They were not shouting Public Safety is in Danger from the rooftops, but instead wanted to quell what could be public panic, and quietly fix a long overdue maintenance nightmare by having our Erie Canal Earthen Dams comply with Federal Dam Standards. NYPA, New York Power Authority, had just taken ownership of the Canal, knowing it was in a dilapidated state, but they had the funds & resources to fix these overdue safety concerns

Instead of fighting against this Public Safety project, I felt is best to work with them on the message of safety.

Many of my neighbors did not agree, or even understand. To this day this NYS Canal Public Safety work has still divided our community and many Erie Canal Neighbors because so many simply do not want to believe those three words uttered by the NYS Canal folks... Unsafe Embankment Dams. Instead they hoped that a public safety effort could be stopped, which was just wrong in all kinds of ways. Many of those people are still being blinded by Elizabeth Agte and her Pals in the Stop the Canal Clear-Cut group even today.

This is the kind of message she spreads... it looks good but it shows she doesn't understand the basic premise of an unsafe Erie Canal. Flowers aren't going to fix unsafe dams.

Comparing the Erie Canal to a patch of land along the NYS Thruway seems to leave out the part where a dam is holding back large amounts of water from drowning people. Why does Ms. Agte & her crew seem to keep ignoring the safety part of the solution?

The NYS Erie Canal is not the NYS Thruway... that's why the Erie and the NY Canal Corporation were taken away from the Thruway group. They couldn't figure out how to manage the asset, maintain it properly or run it at a profit. They had plenty of time to prove they could, and failed. Now Ms. Agte points at their wildflower program as a viable solution for earthen dams. Wishful thinking maybe, but rather foolish on the surface.

Its not hard to understand dam safety... this is what the Federal & State has as a Definition of a Safe Embankment Dam... it's pretty easy... one picture says it all

No flowers, no trees, no place to hide for animal burrows...and no issues performing the NUMBER ONE task when owning an earthen embankment dam... Periodic & Proper Dam Safety Inspection. Dams around the world look like this for a reason... it works.

Once again it's the same thing with Ms. Agte & her Facebook Fanatics... people who have no understanding of an issue are the first to criticize or the first to give their opinion. That has been the problem from Day 1 with the STCC, failure to understand the issue of SAFETY. The NYS Canal Earthen Embankment Integrity Program is about SAFETY work, long overdue safety work. If you don't understand that by now you probably never will.

You ask why won't those opposing a safety effort change their views?

Well that's simple too... because then the Elizabeth Agte's of the world would actually have to understand & accept the words Unsafe Embankment Dam, not try to find ways to say it's untrue.

As long as there are townspeople that let this type of "environmental wannabee" do their thinking & speaking for them, these Agte-Agitators will fill their heads with nonsense and false hope that somehow their "leader" will save the day, beat safety and leave all of us in Danger of Unsafe Erie Canal Dams...Never gonna happen folks.

Something else to consider while you mull this over...

Imagine how bad our society has become when Public Safety is something that gets scoffed at, and fought in our courtrooms, all a result of people like this...


Michael Caswell

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Well said Sir!