General

Carver’s SLT mining site at Rickets Pond Business Park strips away drinking water protection

Expert hydrologist report concludes the project threatens public and private drinking water wells and adjacent wetland resources.

Report also states SLT is violating the Conservation Commission permit. Read the report here:

New aerial images show Rickets Pond is drying up. In over 40 years, this has never happened according to local residents.

For years, the mining operation has been polluting Ricketts Pond sand. This violates wetlands and water laws.

Abutters and neighbors have suffered years of truck traffic, excessive noise, vibrations and shaking of their homes, dust covering their homes and properties. Silica sand is being mined at the site. OSHA regulates worker exposure to silica dust. Where is the Town’s regulation of the exposure of residents to silica dust? Homes are being covered with sand. Residents often cannot open their windows.

Town officials refuse to enforce the law: Earth Removal Committee, Conservation Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Building Inspector, Board of Health. Residents have been left with no choice but to bring a lawsuit to stop expansion of the project. They have a zoning appeal to enforce the zoning law that makes mining illegal in this location.

Residents sue to enforce the law and stop the illegal mining. Carver Earth Removal Committee joins with SLT against residents! The lawsuit files are here.

Strip mining and earth removal occurring on Spring Street near Rickett’s Pond in Carver, MA. SLT is mining under the ruse of creating “Rickets Pond Business Park.”


SLT cut down the highest hill in Carver, altering drainage patterns, stormwater flow and groundwater infiltration.

The site overlies the Plymouth Carver Sole Source Aquifer. Forests, vegetation and sand and gravel filter and protect our water. SLT has stripped away all this — sold for commercial profit.

Neighbors’ homes are within feet of the mining — cars are covered with silt and dust every day. They suffer from extreme noise from logging and mining equipment, trucks, and their homes shake when SLT is mining and processing aggregate.

January 2022, High Street, Carver. Dust from SLT mining.

TIMELINE:

***Area rezoned for “Spring Street Innovation District” in 2015:

In April 2015, Carver Town Meeting voters changed the zoning to “Spring Street Innovation District” from residential with the promise that this would be an “innovative” business park.” Instead, the Zoning Board of Appeals is allowing an aggregate mining and processing – a quarry – to continue for at least 6 years.

*** SLT makes a deal with Mass DOT to buy the land

***2018 SLT starts industrial clearing, logging, aggregate mining; ongoing since 2018 and planned to extend to 2023. Gets earth removal permit in 2018 and 2021. 2021 permit for expansion on to McGrath land, north of Pond. The files are here.

***Starts industrial clearing, logging, aggregate mining.

***December 2021: Save the Pine Barrens seeks enforcement of the Bylaw to stop violations. Building Inspector refuses. Appealed to ZBA. Hearing May 20, 2022

***January 2022: High Street residents sue SLT and Earth Removal Committee in Superior Court.

***February 2022: Earth Removal Committee joins SLT and opposes residents lawsuit.

***February 2022: SLT and Earth Removal Committee move to dismiss residents’ lawsuit for lack of legal standing saying they are not “harmed”. **Court hearing May 24 at 2 p.m.

***April 2022, SLT filed for site plan review and special permits with the Carver Planning Board.

Here’s what the “Innovative” Business Park looks like so far: more warehouses and offices.

April 5, 2022: Watch this drone video of SLT digging up stumps at the Spring Street site. In early 2022, a huge pile of stumps that had been removed during the excavation on the site were clearly obvious to everyone driving on Route 44. Suddenly they were gone. On April 5, 2022 it looks like they were dug up. This video also shows SLT excavated into the ground water in three places. The “stormwater basin” near Spring Street is full of silt.

May 24, 2022: Planning Board describes in detail all the violations they saw on their site visit at SLT — and they still grant a 2 year extension of the subdivision approval. Peter Opachinski of SLT explains on video how they “plan” to start excavation in Plympton. Maps show SLT is already mining in Plympton. We want enforcement from Plympton – where is the Plympton permit? How long is this earth removal going to continue?

June 2022: SLT has sold three lots in the subdivision. The new owners want permits from the Planning Board and Conservation Commission! The entire 27-acre subdivision site violates the zoning law because earth removal is prohibited in this zoning district. Public hearings are scheduled in June on whether the new owners should get permits! NO WAY!

June 27, 2022: Carver Planning Board hearing on 3 new lots in SLT subdivision. Should they get approved even though the are many legal questions about the mining operation and an expert says the project threatens drinking water and wetlands? Read comment letters here.

July 19, 2022: Carver Zoning Board of Appeals: final day of public hearing on Save the Pine Barrens request for enforcement of the Zoning Bylaw. The Zoning Bylaw makes it illegal to mine in the SSID zoning district where SLT’s mine is being conducted. On July 19, 2022, the ZBA refused to do its job, saying it lacked “subject matter jurisdiction” over zoning violations. The ZBA’s contorted legal argument is contrary to established law and wrong. STPB has the right to appeal the decision on behalf of its members who are suffering harm from SLT.

July 20, 2022: Superior Court Judge Sullivan calls the Earth Removal Committee public hearing on November 17, 2021 a “SHAM.” This is the hearing where the ERC granted SLT a permit to expand mining on the north side of Rickets Pond on to the land of Mary McGrath of Marob Trust. The judge will issue his decision on SLT’s motion to dismiss the residents’ appeal of the ERC permit in the next month or so. The hearing on July 20, 2022 took place in Brockton Superior Court.