Carver: Massive new sand mine proposed for 104 Tremont Street

  Meg Sheehan  Cranberry

Everyone! PLEASE come to the

 Carver Earth Removal Committee Public Hearing

February 21, 2024 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, Main Street, Carver MA

Help us stop this proposed sand mine!

Come to the public hearing, call Town Hall or email the Earth Removal Committee

Scott Hannula, Chair earthremoval@carverma.gov

Ask the Carver Earth Removal Committee to DENY E.J. Pontiff’s mining permit!

The plans are here: Pontiff Earth Removal Project, Carver 2023

The permit application is to expand the mining operation at this site for:

  • 1,533,706 cubic yards of sand and gravel
  • Worth about $20 million according to experts
  • Will take at 3 years – typically this size operation can take 5 years or more
  • Requires at 69,713 truck loads  –  about 139,427 truck trips through a residential area on rural road
  • Will cause emissions of dust, noise and vibration
  • Will clearcut and strip topsoil, vegetation and every living thing off another 17 acres at the site
  • Abuts Myles Standish State Forests, homes and private wells

Below: Aerial view of the 900 acre proposed site that has been strip mined over the past several decades

General location of 104 Tremont Street: expansion of mining operation on right

 

The last 17 acres targeted for mining are in red on the on the right side of the map . The other red areas are past mining areas.

Pontiff is one of the largest sand and gravel operators in the region with mining sites in Plymouth and Carver. They just finished up a 1+ million mining operation on Firehouse Road in Plymouth, allegedly to create a cranberry pond.

Is this cranberry agriculture as EJ Pontiff claims — or a cover up for sand and gravel mining?

By claiming that sand and gravel mining is “agriculture” companies can try to evade local, state and environmental laws that prohibit and control mines. Laws for agriculture are weaker or provide exemptions all together.

The sand and gravel mining operations claim they are building new cranberry bogs and “tailwater ponds.” This does not make sense. The cranberry industry is in decline and can’t make money, according to any number of industry, academic and government sources. The world’s largest cranberry grower,  A.D. Makepeace of Wareham is trying to sell bogs because cranberry farming is unprofitable.

Yet the small company, EJ Pontiff Cranberry, needs to excavate $20 million in sand and gravel to build new cranberry bogs to expand its cranberry operations when no one  can make money at it? Does this make sense?

Between 2006 and approximately 2022, the former owner of this site,  Federal Furnace Cranberry Co. ,conducted extensive mining removing about 2.7 million cubic yards across 102 acres. Gary Weston of Carver, and G. Lopes Construction were involved in the past mining operations at this site.

Below: Image of commercial sand and gravel mining and processing at 104 Tremont Street, Carver

Below: Mining operations at 104 Tremont Street, Carver from about 2012 to 2021

Above: Satellite image of Federal Furnace Cranberry at 104 Tremont Street, Carver. Shows sand mining operations and locations of past mining. Photo credit: Google Earth Pro

 

Below: Federal Furnace Cranberry sand mining operations at 104 Tremont Street, Carver, 2018. Shows dewatering operation and commercial sand and gravel processing equipment. At least 2.3 million cubic yards (about $30 million at 2023 prices) were removed as “cranberry agriculture”. The Carver Earth Removal Committee issued several permits for this.

Photo credit: Google Earth Pro

This is an inventoried archeological site according to the Massachusetts Historical Commission. What has happened to any Native American cultural sites here?

 

Watch the video: Sand Wars in Southeastern Massachusetts:   Short Version 5 min.  Long Version 10 min.

Check out Save the Pine Barrens Southeastern Massachusetts You Tube Channel Search for your town in the “Drone Footage by Town” Playlist

1 thought on “Carver: Massive new sand mine proposed for 104 Tremont Street

  1. For heavens sake!! This was hardly a good harvest. Hot summer, lots of rot, and that didn’t make for profits. This is simply another ruse to remove the Town of Carver, grain by grain of sand!! We need to preserve our environment. No more Solar, no battery units, no more destruction, this may be the season of giving, but this proposal is a NOT of any benefit to the Carver townspeople.

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