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It astounds me how these salt companies got permission to dig under these lakes in the first place:o

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Naw, there's never any problem with mining a water soluble compound from, oh, 1000+ feet below the surface, and then hoping nothing seeps in and dissolves your salt support columns. 

 

Now, can you say Azko, and Retsof?   :)

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Thank you for that, it was a good read.  Although the point of my interest was the safety of the operation of the vessel towing a sparsely buoyed 2500 foot cable.....after all these posts I have now read about 60 pages of materials on the salt mine, its location, depth, and the collapse of the mine you reference.  There is an apparent case in the courts currently to force disclosure and a full impact study of the shaft 4 construction that is currently in process.  Decision apparently pending shortly (challenged as to meeting a time deadline it was a little late to be filed so DEC and Cargill are trying to get it tossed) Now the mine at Cayuga is fully two times deeper than the one that collapsed, so an extra 1000 foot or more of bedrock probably helps but a collapse would likely be catastrophic and pardon me for not trusting government and big businesses but I would certainly like outside opinions and views on the mine expansion which apparently DEC and Cargill appear to be very much against much transparency.  Pennsylvania was that way with the coal mines now we have the ever burning coal fire and a ghost town and various other environmental disasters as a result.  If the science is so solid prove  it, don't hide behind the veil of trade secrets...your mining salt not creating a nuclear weapon.  It has always been dismaying to me how a gov agency like DEC is so ready to say...hey its been working so far so lets just keep going.... without any studies or critical looking... I applaud Clean as they seem to be the driving organization I think for the lawsuit seeking disclosure and environmental impact studies, the same as Cornell was required to do for their water cooling system using the lake.  Pretty big risks without some oversight or critical review.... 

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The farmers around Retsof were likely very surprised that "all that bedrock" didn't stop the formation of sinkholes at the surface over the area of the collapse!

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Its hard to say if it was the same vessel but a very similar boat was tied up in the new Sampson Marina back when it first opened this year.  It went up and down Seneca lake for several days.  I did not get a close look but it was towing something and appeared to be mapping the lake bottom. 

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A friend of mine fished Tuesday out of Meyers .  Fished the same water we have been fishing in the  center of the lake.

He only caught one dink salmon. Hooks and bait were gone.Blank screen. I thought maybe the lake flipped over. I guess

it could be something else.

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Ive said it many times the DEC is a political machine.  We don't question any of the lake studies they do from a fishery perspective, so let's blindly take their word everything is fine from an environmental perspective.  I'm not saying they are always wrong by any means, but we have to stop drinking the Kool aid and start questioning things!  I guarantee most every one of us cares more about our lakes than the DEC does as an organization.  

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There have been some public meetings where individuals have complained that DEC hasn't required more seismic testing from Cargill. I don't know it the current activities are a result of those concerns or if DEC has stepped up there game. Mine permits have to be renewed periodically, every five years I think, and Cargill might be just getting their ducks in a row.

 

There was a surface mine (gravel pit) located near the village where I used to live. They were lousy neighbors- running dusk to dawn including weekends. The village passed resolutions that DEC acted on and incorporated during the mine permit renewal process. As a result, the hours of operation were curtailed as a condition of the permit and the mine was required to build a new access road. This pretty much eliminated all of the truck traffic on village streets. I do not think the DEC could have been more caring or responsive! (The mine owners probably wouldn't agree). 

 

In Cargill's case, I don't see how having more seismic info is a bad thing, who knows, maybe they will discover a fault they didn't know about. It might even help them make better decisions.

 

By the way, if you are driving on most any CNY road during the Winter, you are in all probability driving on salt from that mine.

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Well said but the cost of that salt can't be the environment.  It certainly doesn't hurt having watchdogs making sure they dot their I's and cross their t's.  The individual DEC employees work hard and are very passionate like us...it's the politicians, special interests, and greed that make up our government that scare me as they drive the boat! 

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That is certainly true when you consider the new "rules" for where the ECO's can work and can't work.  But I have seen a complete willingness on the part of the Lake Ontario unit to work with all stakeholders, to vet the metrics used for tracking the fishery, and to modify it when valid criticisms are levelled.  A  quality control program that examined every part that came off the line would put a manufacturer out of business, but the LO folks have worked diligently to get a doable and manageable monitoring program, it has been examined by an outside group (NY Sea Grant), is accepted by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and it has been run for years now accumulating one of the more amazing datasets in the history of fisheries science.  Everyone loves it and rah rahs when it produces the numbers they want to see and hear.  When it produces less rosy pictures, everyone goes back to looking at their graph and second guessing the science, and lambasting the biologists.

 

As for the salt, the real environmental damage happens after it is applied to the roads.  Why are southern cars so desirable on the used market?  No rust.  The bridges around Monroe County are all starting to rot away.  The salt.  Even concrete is attacked by the stuff.  But you can't ask upstate urban drivers to slow down and brake sooner, and cut application to just hills, everyone has to get to Target faster!  The aquifers under Monroe County have a salinity similar to brine, same thing under Toronto, let's hope we never have to go underground for drinking water. 

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Not to derail this topic...I am on the lake now by taughannock. I saw the boat heading north in the distance about a half hour ago. I always monitor channel 16 on the radio just for the sake of it. 

 

They just came over the radio stating they were doing marine research near the middle of the lake and that they are towing a 2500 foot cable with an un manned boat at the rear and that if anyone has any questions to respond. 

 

For whatever it's worth, I thought it was interesting

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I spoke to the crew last night.  They are a good bunch from Florida who was enjoying NY hospitality.  They are indeed using a type of sonar that requires those small pressurized air explosions to get their readings of the salt mines.  The release of pressurized air is about 2-3 foot under the surface.  The sonar cable is 2500' long and is only about 3' under the surface.  They have been completely cut off from their cable on a couple occasions by boat props (Not on our lake).  They admit to not having the proper signaling flag.  The reason being their hired tow company that towed their vessel from Florida broke them off on a bridge on the way up.  They also admit they should fix it.  They have been approached by the DEC, Marine Safety and Sheriff because at the end of their cable is a empty row boat of some type.  People saw a empty boat and called the police.  I showed them this thread and they were impressed by how much more people on this thread knew about what they were doing then they did.  

Edited by vogel451

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To followup, I met with them this morning and they will be giving the securite briefing on the radio when they begin operations, they are now flying the appropriate marker of a vessel with a stern tow over 250 meters so they are now legal and they are doing soundings, the cable however is submerged deeply and should not be a hazard but do not cross astern between them and the tow...


Sent from my iPad using Lake Ontario United

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Here’s a 8 second video of the vessel in 4K for anyone interested. Recorded about half a mile south of Longpoint. I wanted to capture how loud the boom was when the thing behind the boat made it. It was much louder than the phone recorded it. I see the manned dingy turn away a pleasure boat that was about to run over the cable, then 10 minutes later I saw a bass boat go right between the buoys at full speed, didn’t seem affected so I assume he didn’t hit the cable but it seemed very unsafe to me.

 

 

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Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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The vessel was just above Myers today. Pissed me off because I had just got all my lines out twice today and he had his tow line stretched across the whole lake. Had to pick up my lines up and move. Was not happy. 

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