Save the Pine Barrens sues AD Makepeace, Carver Zoning Board over sand mining and false claims

Trying to dodge accountability for massive strip mining and deforestation of over 300 acres of rare Pine Barrens ecosystem, Indigenous sites

Video summarizing AD Makepeace strip mining and earth removal under the ruse of agriculture and site preparation for industrial solar at 6 sites in Carver, MA

Southeastern Massachusetts is being destroyed by unregulated industrial sand mining

On Nov. 23, 2021 Save the Pine Barrens sued AD Makepeace and the Carver Zoning Board over illegal strip ming. Instead of enforcing the law, the Zoning Board made up reasons to evade its job of enforcing the law.

This lawsuit was filed after 8 months of attending meetings with Town officials and researching and documenting AD Makepeace’s violations of local zoning bylaws and the earth removal bylaws of the Town of Carver.

Carver’s Earth Removal Committee, the Zoning Enforcement Officer, and the Zoning Board of Appeals refuse to enforce the law despite clear-cut documentary evidence of violations.

The November 2021 lawsuit involves the Zoning Board of Appeals’ refusal to enforce the law at six strip mining sites – three of which are being done under the false claim of “agricultural projects” and three that were done for industrial solar without earth removal permits.

Since April 2021 we have been trying to get state and local enforcement to stop these violations. Corruption and conflicts of interest are obvious. “This environmental destruction and the cover-ups need to stop now,” said coordinator of STPB Meg Sheehan. “Carver is unwilling to enforce their own laws to protect their residents. Whether it’s corruption, conflict of interest, the “Cranberry Cosa Nostra” or the sand mafia — there’s no excuse for this reckless destruction of forests, wetlands, waterways, historic sites and communities.”

On Federal Road in Carver, Makepeace has three active strip mine sites being done under the ruse of agriculture: Site 1, 59 Federal Road, Site 2 at 46 Federal Road and the Smith Hammond bog site. Some of these are abutting Environmental Justice communities identified by the state as most heavily impacted by environmental degradation and pollution.

At Makepeace’s 46 Federal Road sand mining site (Site 2 on the map), 27 acres of rare species habitat for the Eastern Box Turtle has been obliterated since 2011 under a so-called Conservation and Management Permit granted by Mass Wildlife for a fake “agricultural project” that still has not been built. An Indigenous cultural site that was potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places was probably destroyed. Neither MassWildlife nor the Massachusetts Historical Commission will hold Makepeace accountable.

Across the region, Makepeace’s mining operations and solar installations are impacting the ancestral lands of the Wampanoag people. To date, almost a dozen archeological sites have been impacted or destroyed in blatant disregard of the Indigenous people’s physical, cultural, and historic connection to these areas.

September 28, 2021: Consultant confirms that AD Makepeace is using “agricultural projects” as a ruse to get state and town approvals. The consultant visited 3 AD Makepeace sites on Federal Road in Carver. His testimony says there is no evidence of agriculture at the sites.

Carver officials complicit in covering up fraud, allow sand mining to continue

On June 29, 2021: Save the Pine Barrens sent a letter to the Carver Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) demanding an immediate cease and desist to all sand mining operations by AD Makepeace. STPB demanded enforcement from the Building Commissioner on June 29, 2021.

STPB’s demand letter describes AD Makepeace’s strip mining of almost 150 acres, much of it rare and endangered species habitat, to install about 15 megawatts of industrial ground-mounted solar and industrial solar panels and battery storage.

On July 28, 2021, Save the Pine Barrens sent a fifth written notice

Recordings of the ERC’s meetings can be found here and here

Impacts of AD Makepeace mining and solar at a few sites Carver

June 15, 2021 A few years ago pristine Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens stood in this very spot. Now the area is a barren wasteland, stripped of forests and life and replaced by industrial solar arrays. A 50 acre area once teeming with biodiversity has been desecrated and strip-mined by Makepeace and Borrego Solar panels installed.

Location: 0 Hammond road (Borrego Solar site) Carver, MA