MassWildlife, Carver Earth Removal Committee, Zoning Inspector Refuse to Enforce Laws to Protect Environment from AD Makepeace Strip Mining

On August 9, a Ten Residents Group delivered notices of intent to sue to the Massachusetts Attorney General, Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) and the Town of Carver if the regulators continue to fail to enforce environmental laws. 

On August 16, 2021, Save the Pine Barrens filed a complaint with the Carver Zoning Board of Appeals seeking a hearing on violations of the Town’s zoning laws by AD Makepeace. This appeal seeks a hearing before the ZBA.

The legal steps on August 9 and 16 follow efforts that started in April 2021 by local activists seeking to stop the massive industrial strip mining operations underway in Carver and Plymouth.

On April 6, 2021, Save the Pine Barrens, a non profit group first requested enforcement of the laws and explanations about the forest clear-cuts, strip mining and solar projects in Carver.

On May 13, 2021 activists sent another letter to the Town.

On June 1, 2021, the obvious conflict of interest that the majority of the Earth Removal Committee members have in regulating AD Makepeace was outline in a letter to the Committee. Two of the members do business with Makepeace and three of them are in the cranberry business. One member, Richard Ward, is so intertwined with the cranberry industry in the region that when running for selectmen, his opponend referred to him as part of the “Cranberry Cosa Nostra.”

https://carver.wickedlocal.com/article/20130425/news/304259578

Here’s a quote by Ward being interviewed during the race: “Issue 3: Sustainable agricultural tax base. Our main industry is cranberries. My opponent has called the cranberry industry, of which I am a part, the “Cranberry Cosa Nostra.” Instead of calling our main industry the mafia, shouldn’t we be trying to encourage this industry to be sustainable? It’s our primary tax base! The industry helps support us and our tax base, so I’m an advocate of working with this industry.”

Additional letters with more information about violations were sent to Carver on June 14 and June 29, 2021.

On July 28, 2021 a letter was sent to Wareham and Carver about the danger to public safety from the excessive truck traffic coming from AD Makepeace sand and gravel removal operations in Carver.

The public’s request have been ignored. Carver has not responded to any of these, other than via June 1, 2021 letter from their lawyer to say there are no violations. This is obviously not true.

The laws are obviously being broken. Our state and local regulators refuse to act. The public therefore has the right to seek to enforce the laws to protect the environment. If state and local regulators don’t act within 20 days of August 9, 2021, the Ten Residents Group can bring a lawsuit to enforce the laws.

AD Makepeace strip mining in Plymouth

Under the guise of building a cranberry bog, AD Makepeace got a permit from the Town of Plymouth to extract 6.5 million cubic yards of sand and gravel along the Wankinko River. See GIS map below. This map shows that the excavation occurred the highest points of land – 100 feet – on the site. Google Earth maps show that excavation is continuing in this area.

AD Makepeace claimed to the Town of Plymouth that this permit was necessary to build cranberry bogs — while at the same time telling state regulators that it was not building cranberry bogs because the industry was in a slump, saying instead it needed to build land based industrial solar projects.

Plymouth has not enforced the earth removal permit against Makepeace and has collected no earth removal fees.