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Earthen Embankment Integrity Program

Project Location

All work covered under the embankment maintenance program will be performed on lands under jurisdiction of the New York State Canal Corporation (“NYSCC”) or on lands where the NYSCC has authority to carry out embankment maintenance program activities. For SEQR mapping purposes, an additional 100 feet beyond property under jurisdiction of the NYSCC is included as part of the potential project study area. This will also help address the level of accuracy of some of the GIS data being used in this review, providing additional assurance that appropriate information is included.

Project Background and Need

The New York State Canal System encompasses 524-miles of navigable inland waterways and additional properties under the jurisdiction of the NYSCC that span upstate New York (the “Canal System”).

A key component of the Canal System is earthen embankments (embankments) that impound water to form waterways or feeders. Proper maintenance of the embankments is imperative for protecting people, property and the environment. Good maintenance practices will also serve to maintain the integrity of the Canal System in a cost-effective manner and thus promote usage of the canal. Management practices are being reviewed and formalized into a comprehensive program to reduce the risk of embankment failure due to erosion, seepage, or settlement. Concrete and masonry surfaces that follow the embankment lines and grades also suffer from various types of deterioration. All of these conditions compromise the integrity of the embankment, hinder safety inspections, and interfere with safe operations, which may lead to embankment failures. Reasonable alternative management practices to tree removal in areas within close proximity to recreational uses, parks, municipal, residential and commercial areas will be analyzed.

Project Description

The proposed action involves implementing a documented comprehensive canal system embankment maintenance program to restore, maintain and manage the integrity of embankments within the Canal System. This requires the proper inspection and maintenance of linings, concrete and masonry features of the earthen embankment, drainage, and instrumentation, which includes addressing non-compatible vegetation, animal burrows and seeps.

The scope of the embankment maintenance program includes the following:

  • Embankment Features and Conditions: Earthen embankments or features that abut and are parallel to the earthen embankments. The scope includes all embankment material and impairments; and turf, vegetation, armoring or paving that’s parallel to the embankment slopes and surfaces. It includes water recording and management features used in regulation of water levels in the canal, and geotechnical instrumentation devices. It also includes amenities such as supplemental vegetation, visual screening and fencing.
  • Means of Implementation: Implementation of the embankment maintenance program will be through in-house maintenance, contract maintenance or as part of capital projects.

Signed FEAF Part 1

Signed FEAF - part1 PDF 

Environmental Assessment Form spreadsheets