Author Topic: The Erie Canal as a Renewable Energy Highway  (Read 25 times)

Michael Caswell

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The Erie Canal as a Renewable Energy Highway
« on: December 23, 2018, 01:36:38 pm »
Posted on the STCC Facebook page yesterday

From Shawn Lessord
Hello great folks!
Elizabeth R. Agte asked me to reach out to the group and explain my thoughts on the Canal work so here goes.
My father has lived on Lyman Street in Brockport along the canal for 56 years. I played on Lyman Street as a kid. Decades ago the area underwent a large scale multi-million dollar environmental cleanup which took years to complete. It was one of the most amazing cleanups in the history of our area and did so much good for our environment and the safety of our area.
So why all the clear cutting? Stump removals? And all the equipment? Safety, why yes. There is no question in my mind that the Canal will be a much safer once they are done with this project, if done correctly.
The bigger reason in my opinion is a renewable energy highway and infrastructure. The Erie Canal is a direct path across the State. It links the Niagara River with the Hudson River.
Last year the Canal Corp and NYPA contractors cut two ninety year old trees on the Canal embankment which were trees my mother loved. Honestly, I was upset. I could not figure out why all this nonsense cutting of trees?, and the wasting of our tax payer dollars because those trees have been there for decades with no issues.
As many of you know I am in the solar energy industry. I have had solar on our home here in Brockport for decades, and I discuss renewable energy to everyone I see.
Below is why I think this is a renewable energy highway.
We need to all ask ourselves what is the greater good for our future? For our safety? For our children and grandchildren? For our planet?
Is this really what is transpiring right in front of our eyes? Is this the Reimagine NYS? Is this the NYS green energy blueprint?
Yes in my opinion, a renewable energy highway. I think one that we all can be proud of providing it is done correctly.
My personal opinion is that this can be done without all of the trees being removed with today's technologies.


Mr Lessord
Whilst I agree with much of what you say regarding the potential of the canal system being a potential 'energy highway', I would like to answer you regarding this comment. "this can be done without all of the trees being removed with today's technologies"
Two separate 'experts' have been called on by the STCC regarding keeping the trees, the first being Dr Donald H Gray.
Dr Grays publications were only of natural wooded slopes and levees, and when I asked him for his work on embankment impoundments (dams) he replied I dont know of any earth dams where woody vegetation was purposely planted or allowed to grow on a face of the dam. You can read about how he realised he's been misled and sought legal advice seeing as how he'd offered testimony in the court injunction.
https://ecna.createaforum.com/general-discussion/dr-gray-says-it-all!/
Another expert Dr David Rosgen was misled into thinking these 'wooded slopes' were levees, but he recanted his initial statements once I pointed out the errors -It is my opinion that in this matter the trees present a high risk related to mass wasting processes due to the saturation of embankments that are raised higher than the original floodplains

https://ecna.createaforum.com/the-stop-the-clearcut-argument/is-it-a-levee-or-a-dam-the-stcc-still-don't-get-it/

There is no one who can tell you trees are acceptable on an embankment dam, not FEMA, USACE, ASDSO, NYDEC, Rizzo Engineers, and most State Authorities.   

I have a large collection of articles and facts collected after realising people were not getting the whole truth from Ms Agte and co - see  www.eriecanalfacts.wordpress.com   and https://ecna.createaforum.com/index.php
I hope that helps you understand why it is so important to remove the vegetation from the slopes. They are particularly steep and heavily infested with weeds and cottonwoods, making inspections impossible on The Great Embankment from Fairport to Pittsford.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 02:04:32 pm by Michael Caswell »

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Doug K

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Re: The Erie Canal as a Renewable Energy Highway
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 09:25:40 pm »
Actually had a conversation with Shawn Lessord here in Brockport while Zone 37 Embankments were being grubbed, cleared & patched. The company he works for was behind the recent Parma Solar Farm that was featured on the local news. He is an expert on renewable energy, and is an expert in application of solar technology. His view of the NY Power Authority ownership of the Erie Canal is aligned with those who manage the Erie Canal National Heritage Cooridor, we must bring the Canalway into the 21st century and insure it remains for hundreds of years more. That would mean utilizing it's "renewable energy" potential if it is there, creation of a "green byway" would be great for NY State.

But Shawn Lessord is NOT a hydrologist, folks, nor is he an expert in Embankment Dam Science.

So why did  the Stop the Clear Cut Group seek out this opinion on this project? Are they hoping to once again simply dismiss the FACT we are talking about Dam Safety when we talk about the EERP Project work? Equally unsure how anyone would miss the logical ownership change of the NY Canal to NY Power Authority. If this agency can make ownership of the Erie Canal profitable for NY taxpayers isn't that something we all would benefit from? Are they surprised by the move of NYPA & NYCC to look for ways to MAKE money from the Erie Canal?

What's the point of placing this post on the STCC Facebook page?

Clearly these folks are grasping at straws once again..anyone can become a new Dam expert, just by agreeing with their view? Is there some reason why this group continues to side-step the truth being told here? It's only a three letter word, Dam. It does come with some regulations, and rules around safety...but it is a Dam... no question. Well unless you happen to be living in your own fantasy world where the word Dam is something of a "four-letter word"

I'd have to place this latest STCC post squarely between frustration & desperation. It is an Earthen Embankment Dam..it is broken, there is money to fix it, it doesn't get much easier that that. Folks, please let people do their jobs... this is about public safety... end of story. And hopefully this news ALSO signals an end to a group that prided itself on simply denying the Dam truth that was all around them... and still do to this day. It's DAM ignorance if you ask me... sad. What a Dam shame that this project had the same affect as the Civil War, dividing a community. Yes.. the STCC is frustrated beyond all reason, and they are left with desperation, along with their regular menu of deflection, deceiving & dis-information.

Just ask any Hydrologist, Geologist, Dam Engineer or those experts brought forward by the Stop The Clear Cut group, all agree with this statement..

The Erie Canal is made up of MILES of Earthen Embankment Dams, all of them must be cleared for safety's sake.

Of course those saying different are not quite "experts" in the field of Embankment Dam Science & Engineering or simply haven't read what the NY Canal Corporation said was driving their project. And so folks, another page turns on the final chapter of the STCC Playbook.. ever nearing the end & soon to be placed BACK on the shelf right next to all those other "Fictional Stories" about the NY Canal Corporation's Earthen Embankment Remediation Project.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 01:17:53 pm by Doug K »