Halifax: Stop the Morse Bros. Cranberry Big Dig
Why are local officials missing the point about strip mining? Is dust control what really matters?
Morse Bros. strip mine to be in well and aquifer protection zones – this must be PROHIBITED!
Monponsett Pond pond water quality is fragile – strip mining the filtration provided by forests, vegetation and sand and gravel will make it worse, threaten wetlands
Morse Bros. trying to disguise strip mine as an “agricultural project” to evade laws
JUNE 24, 2022 BY KRISTY ZAMAGNI-TWOMEY, EXPRESS CORRESPONDENT
The Halifax Selectmen met in-person on the evening of June 14. There was a public hearing for earth removal for the Morse Brothers’ cranberry property. Selectman Alex Meade said, “I remember most of the residents’ concerns were about the roadway itself and dust control. Since then, we’ve had questions about runoff from the trucks so leaking hydraulics things like that. I don’t know if you plan on putting in some kind of catch basin filters in?” “Certainly, we would be willing to talk about that,” the Morse Brothers representative said.
Meade said he would like to have a clear-cut definition of what the expectations are for the road condition as well as dust control. The spokesman said that the earth removal was necessary because the current layout is not conducive to newer ways of growing cranberries. “The things that we are talking about make sense for cranberry production. If we change the property to the new way, it now becomes a highest and best use for that property… there are good things for the town, there are good things for the grower… at the end of the day, we just want to coexist,” he continued.
They showed maps of the property to the residents present for the hearing and said that they were also available at Mass Mapper under Zone 2. Residents spoke about their concerns including home depreciation and the safety of children. One resident said that they already deal with being inconvenienced in September and October but said that was just part of the cranberry business. He said, however, that this was different and would cause disruption for years. Another resident said that he worries about the environmental impact of the properties surrounding the one in question including walking trails leading into Burrage. Another resident asked that the official abutters list be expanded to include more properties. Someone else expressed concern about the ability of first responders to get through to homes given the heavy truck traffic which was described as sounding like an “earthquake.”
The Selectmen agreed to do a site visit and then revisit the project in early August. “I don’t think we are at a point in this project to vote either way,” Selectmen Chair Ashley DiSesa said.
Town’s peer review of Morse Bros. earth removal proposal:
Application from Morse Brothers Inc and Grady Consulting for Earth Removal Permit for 250 Lingan Street
Earth Removal Sites: