Author Topic: Protesting Erie Canal tree removal stinks, in more ways than one.  (Read 147 times)

Doug K

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So who in the social media world decides what 'cause' gets 'protested' in the name of the environment?

That's a really good question to ask, especially in and around the Fairport/Perinton area where a group of Facebook users has decided to protest the clearing up of 75 years of 'missed maintenance' along the Erie Canal. The New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC) has done an extensive ENVIRONMENTAL review of the 500+ mile long Canal System, over a 4 year period, and released it's findings in a well documented, online publication known as the Earthen Embankment Integrity Program or EEIP as it's known by.

That State Environmental study said the Erie Canal, almost 100 years old now, is in need of LOTS of maintenance, it's earthen embankments have become a hazard that is uninspectable, and trees do NOT belong on Dams according to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the NYSDEC. And they are correct, there's pages & pages of NYS laws that say the Erie Canal Embankments have become a problem, the dams are not in compliance, and a full repair & maintenance plan must be put into place.

The EEIP program is the solution that the NYSDEC requires, yet some in the local Rochester area are still protesting this much needed public safety effort... why?

It's clear in the State DEC Website, Division of Water,  that Dam Safety Regulations exist. Below is the verbiage from the NYS Dam Safety Laws, the same requirements for Dam Owners across NY State, including those 125 miles of Earthen Embankments that owned by New York State thru the Canal Corporation. Read these laws:


(a)Dam Inspection and maintenance plan.
The owner of a dam that:
(1) is equal to or greater than 15 feet in height or has a maximum impoundment capacity equal to or greater than three million gallons, unless the dam has a height equal to or less than six feet, regardless of impoundment capacity, or an impoundment capacity less than or equal to one million gallons, regardless of height;
(2) has been assigned a hazard classification of class B or C pursuant to section 673.5 of this Part, or

(3) impounds waters which pose, in the event of a failure of such dam, a threat of personal injury, substantial property damage or substantial natural resource damage as determined by the department, shall develop and fully implement a written inspection and maintenance plan for the dam. The first inspection and maintenance plan that is required after the effective date of this Part shall be completed within 12 months of the effective date of this Part.

(b) An inspection and maintenance plan shall include:
(1) detailed descriptions of all procedures governing: the operation, monitoring, and inspection of the dam, including those governing the reading of instruments and the recording of instrument readings; the maintenance of the dam; and the preparation and circulation of notifications of deficiencies and potential deficiencies;

(2) a schedule for monitoring, inspections, and maintenance; and

(3) other elements as may be required by the department based on its consideration of public safety and the specific characteristics of the dam and its location.

(c) The inspection and maintenance plan shall be retained by the dam owner, kept in good order, and updated as necessary to reflect changes in current conditions.
(d) The inspection and maintenance plan shall be made available to the department upon request.
(e) The department may review and require the owner to amend any inspection and maintenance plan at any time to protect life, property or natural resources.

So why wouldn't this group go look for something else to protest?

The SAFETY of the Erie Canal, and those who use it, and live near it is what's at stake, according to the SEQR Report on the EEIP Program, but still this tiny group gets all up in arms about any trees removed anywhere along the Erie Canal. Here's the latest whining about more EEIP work being done in the Rochester area.

It's almost comical, if it wasn't so sad... and that last comment,"It's just awful", whoever sad Dam Maintenance & Repair is supposed to be "pretty"? Sorry Ma'am that the Dam Repair doesn't meet your standards, don't look, walk somewhere else if it's 'so awful'.

We are now watching a defeated group, who's leadership has crawled back under the rocks they came from, still complaining about a public safety program that they will not accept as 'necessary' for themselves... and their walk along the top of the dams along the Erie Canal Trail. They seem to be looking 'down' on all others from that trail, unconcerned or uncaring about ANY9NE who is living or working below unsafe, unmaintained NYS dams.

Why don't they start protesting something different, like Towns that dump recycled Sewage Treatment water into the Erie Canal System, with the click of a mouse button?

What you say? That sounds like an April Fools joke.

Nope, it happens all the time, and seems like a Town only has to fill out an online request form to do it. You can find all of this wonderful information on the NYS DEC Website, EVERY WEDNESDAY, when the new Environmental Notice Bulletins are released for the week. I sorted the list, all time notices, by the keyword 'canal', here's a couple I found.

Sewage Discharge ENB - Gasport, NY

Sewage Discharge ENB - Lyons, NY

It would appear that the water discharged has a rating set at Class C, suitable for fishing, but there's a big debate going on whether recycled Sewage Wastewater can support fish propagation or not. Most say not and water should be a D rating. There are pages abd pages of water quality information on the DEC website, and you can learn more about wastewater ratings here:

And as citizens of New York State, there are laws that protect the publics right to know about Sewage contamination, a dedicated website exists for that as well. You can find it here: . Folks, this seems like a 'good cause' for the Stop the Canal Clear-cut group to go after, maybe just a name change to Stop the Canal Waste Water, STCWW, or is it one W? Doesn't matter, the group is to mired in the 'invasive vegetation' to see the real problem is staring them right back in the mirror.

If someone doesn't go after Sewage dumping the Erie Canal may look like this someday, oh wait this IS a picture taken today from the Seneca-Erie Canal:

So the QUESTION is why would this Facebook Group keep kicking around their dead idea of 'save the trees', when it's the TREES that are the problem causing the public safety issue in the first place, all proven, without a doubt, by experts trained in Dam Safety & NYS DEC Law.

Why wouldn't they chose a new 'environmental cause' to go and fight at this point, leave this tree thing behind and admit you may have been wrong about dam safety...

Maybe that's where the rub is here, admitting they were wrong...

Hey, If you are reading this post STCC, most people in NY State, including NYS agencies involved with the Erie Canal, already know you are wrong.

But maybe if you openly admit it NOW, you can save face just a little bit, for not being labeled "too stupid" later on.

« Last Edit: April 04, 2024, 05:06:11 pm by Doug K »

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Doug K

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Once again it's more "farce than facts" with this Social Media protest group... this time it's Lorraine Parr who's guilty AGAIN of pulling the Erie Alarm for something that is NOT related to anything going on with the Erie Canal refurbishment. Of course she's all apologetic, but seems FAKE. Doesn't she runs a local internet radio show in Rochester that seems to thrive on mis-information, opinions & "group conjecture"?

Today's award for Facebook Drama goes to Ms Parr, of course.

Watching the Stop the Canal Clear-cut group on Facebook is the same as watching Chicken Little... "the sky is falling".

If you dont believe it, just ask Lorraine, Virginia or Elizabeth, they are the local experts on all this "Erie Canal Drama".
« Last Edit: April 05, 2024, 10:53:22 am by Doug K »

Michael Caswell

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Lorraine Parr?  Good grief! I remember trying to read some of the jibber she posted in the past. Hardly good journalism, Her punctuation and writing skills leave much to be desired. I also remember listening to her radio show, "Shaking up Rochester". Hardly an intelligent 'conversation', mind you she was interviewing Ms Agte.