Carver: SLT Construction’s Plympton zoning appeal for “material processing facility” denied in Plympton

  Meg Sheehan 

The ZBA votes on January 23, 2024 to uphold the Zoning Enforcement Officer’s decision.

SLT had asked the ZBA to overturn the Plympton building inspector’s decision denying  SLT’s permit for a “materials processing facility.” The site is just over the  Carver border from SLT’s 20 acre mining operation in Carver. The Plympton operation would have used Carver  roads for access.

However, the ZBA voted to uphold the Zoning Officer’s decision that the facility would not have met their strict requirements for a “light manufacturing” facility in their industrial zone, and that the facility posed threats to the Plymouth-Carver Sole Source Aquifer in a Groundwater Protection District. By denying the appeal, the ZBA upheld the strict protections for drinking water and groundwater that are at the core of a Groundwater Protection District.

Read the Zoning Enforcement Officer’s original decision here:

Zoning Enforcement Officers Letter

Background

Above: Oct. 2023: SLT mining operation, Spring Street, Carver-Plympton MA

 

Since 2018, SLT Construction has been operating a commercial mine at 0 Spring Street in Carver. The company got state and town permits by claiming this is just earth removal for a normal “subdivision.” Using this ruse, companies evade prohibitions on stand alone mining operations. Since 2018, SLT has leveled Carver’s highest hill,  spewed dust over the Town and made it impossible for residents nearby to enjoy their homes. It has expanded from the first “Rickets Pond Business Park” site into Plympton and onto abutting land of Marob Trust/Mary McGrath.

Plympton Expansion

Since at least 2021, SLT Construction has been mining and conducting earth removal in Plympton. The Town issued a cease and desist. Now SLT wants a permit to operate a demolition debris facility.  

SLT Construction mining site, Spring Street, Carver-Plympton. Dumping demolition debris,  March 11, 2023

 

In Feb. 2023, SLT asked the Town of Plympton Selectboard for an earth removal permit. When the Town asked for a hydrological study so they could be sure to protect drinking water, SLT withdrew the permit. In July, 2023, MassDEP rejected SLT’s application for solid waste “Recycling Composting and Conversion” (RCC) permit to operate in Plympton. MassDEP directed SLT to comply with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) before MassDEP will issue the RCC permit.

Still determined to operate in Plympton, SLT tried a new tact. On May 24, 2023, SLT applied for a zoning permit for a “Material Processing Facility” in Plympton.

Zoning Application

The Town Building Inspector denied the permit because the project is not “light manufacturing” as defined under the Bylaw and is prohibited. SLT appealed that decision to the ZBA. The Inspector also ruled that the project is in a Groundwater Protection District.

At the January 23, 2024 hearing, the ZBA decided that the project is not allowed under the bylaw.

The application and the Building Inspector’s letter are here:  2023-2024 Plympton SLT zoning appeal

State fraud investigation

SLT Construction is one of the companies at the center of the Inspector General (OIG) ongoing investigation of the sand and gravel industry in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Impacts to residents, environment

Local residents and CLWC continue to pursue legal avenues to stop the environmental destruction of the mining operation and to protect residents. 

Below: map of proposed location of SLT mining in Plympton MA on the Carver border. This is an extension of the mining operation at 0 Spring Street in Carver. Groundwater flows toward wells. SLT Map Wells

 

The SLT Construction mining site is a known archeological site, close to the Annisnapitt area. Read more about the SLT Mining Site in the Sand Wars report.

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