Carver: SLT’s massive sand mine on Route 44 level’s regions highest hill in 6 years for sand and gravel, harms people and environment

  Katherine Harrelson  archeological site

State, local officials stand by, town issues more permits and approvals

Corrupt town Earth Removal Committee complicit, allows mining expansion

Town Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Commission, state agencies refuse to enforce the law and side with mining company

For over six years, SLT Construction Co. has caused environmental destruction and harmed the health and well being of residents in the surrounding neighborhoods. SLT has leveled the highest hill in Carver down to the street level. It has expanded illegally into Plympton. In collusion with the Carver Earth Removal Committee it got a permit to expand on the the abutting “Marob Trust” property. Marob’s owner previously conducted a massive mining operation on part of it property with an earth removal permit from Carver. Now SLT took the rest of the sand.

Read more about SLT in Sand Wars in Cranberry Country: An investigation into the money, politics and corruption behind sand mining and its silent environmental crisis in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Under investigation for fraud according to sources

SLT Construction and its contractor AGT Trucking (Alan Germain, recently elected Town Moderator in Carver) are under investigation by the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General. The office investigates fraud and waste of public resources.

Residents, environment suffer

SLT’s non-stop commercial mining operation makes the lives of people living nearby intolerable. Dust, noise, vibration, constant truck traffic, logging, operation of sand and gravel processing equipment causes ear splitting, concussion noise, truck traffic is non stop. Excavation, loading tractor trailers, rock crushing and sorting cause noise and vibrations that makes their homes shake. Carcinogenic silica dust blows from the site on to home. It exposes them to a health hazard. This is a residential neighborhood.

January 2022, High Street, Carver. Dust from SLT mining.

Drinking water threatened

Read the 2022 hydrologist report here:

Drone photos show Rickets Pond is drying up. In over 40 years, this has never happened according to local residents.

Strip mining and earth removal occurring on Spring Street near Rickett’s Pond in Carver, MA. SLT is mining under the ruse of creating “Rickets Pond Business Park.”

SLT leveled the highest hill in Carver, clear-cutting forests and altering drainage patterns, stormwater flow and groundwater infiltration rates. The site is in the Plymouth Carver Sole Source Aquifer. Forests, vegetation and sand and gravel filter and protect our water. SLT has permanently removed the filtration and protection of the drinking water supply for 200,000 people – present and future generations.



The Town of Carver rezones the area as the “Spring Street Innovation District” on the recommendation of the Town Planner and Town Manager who promise the land will be used for an “innovative business park.”


SLT makes a deal to buy the land from MassDOT. SLT and MassDOT start industrial clearing, logging, commercial sand and gravel mining operation that is continuing as of 2024. The Carver Earth Removal Committee grants earth removal permits even though the application is incomplete. The permits do not have mandatory conditions. The public hearing in 2021 was a “sham” according to Superior Court Judge Sullivan. The files on the 2021 sham permit are here. The state “MEPA” office signs of on the project and does not do even minimal due diligence to require SLT and MassDOT to conduct a proper environmental impact study. The MEPA Certificate is a sham. See that here.

This is a commercial mining operation, not an innovative business park. The Zoning Board of Appeals, Earth Removal Committee, Board of Selectmen, Conservation Commission, and Board of Health have all allowed commercial sand and gravel mining and processing – a quarry – to operate with impunity.


Save the Pine Barrens seeks enforcement of the Bylaw to stop violations. Building Inspector refuses. Appealed to ZBA. Following a sham hearing before the Carver ZBA, the denial is appealed to court. In late 2023, the residents decided to dismiss the case and pursue other options.

November, 2021: the Carver Earth Removal Committee issues second sham permit to SLT to expand on to the land of Mary McGrath/Marob Trust. Residents appeal to court to stop it. A Superior Court judge calls the hearing a “sham.” As of Spring, 2024, SLT and the ERC are still fighting the lawsuit in court. Residents are still suffering from the impacts of mining. More sand is still being taken off the aquifer. Read more below.


January: High Street residents sue SLT and Earth Removal Committee in Superior Court over the second sham permit issued to Mary McGrath/Marob Trust. SLT starts mining to remove more sand and gravel.

At a court hearing on July 20, 2022, Superior Court Judge Sullivan says the so-called public hearing the ERC held on the new earth removal permit was a “SHAM.” At this hearing, the ERC granted SLT a permit to expand mining on the north side of Rickets Pond on to the land of Mary McGrath of Marob Trust.

September 22, 2022: Superior Court Judge Sullivan denied SLT’s motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaint appealing the November 2021 earth removal permit. Judge’s written decision says:

“The Earth Removal Bylaw is “clearly intended to protect citizens of Carver, such as the plaintiffs, from detrimental effects of earth removal…Plaintiffs have raised concerns regarding their safety and general welfare. The concerns raised are not speculative, as the plaintiffs allege that they have been experiencing the detrimental effects of the earth removal operations since it began, which the plaintiffs have established by way of affidavits.”

A February 3, 2022 expert hydrologist report concluded SLT’s mining operation threatens public and private drinking water wells and adjacent wetland resources and the Carver Conservation Commission is allowing violations to happen.

February: Earth Removal Committee joins SLT and opposes residents lawsuit challenging the Earth Removal Permit. SLT and Earth Removal Committee move to dismiss residents’ lawsuit for lack of legal standing saying they are not “harmed”.

April: SLT files for site plan review and special permits with the Carver Planning Board for office and warehouse buildings — not the self-storage units identified in the MEPA Certificate.

Here’s what the “Innovative” Business Park looks like so far: more warehouses and offices.

April 5: Drone video shows SLT digging up stumps at the Spring Street site. In early 2022, a huge pile of stumps that had been removed during the excavation on the site were clearly obvious to everyone driving on Route 44. Suddenly they were gone. On April 5, 2022 it looks like they were dug up. This video also shows SLT excavated into the ground water in three places. The “stormwater basin” near Spring Street is full of silt.

May 24: Carver Planning Board describes in detail all the violations they saw on their site visit at SLT — and they still grant a 2 year extension of the subdivision approval. Peter Opachinski of SLT explains on video how they “plan” to start excavation in Plympton. Maps show SLT is already mining in Plympton.

SLT has sold three lots in the subdivision. The new owners want permits from the Planning Board and Conservation Commission. The entire 27-acre subdivision site violates the zoning law because earth removal is prohibited in this zoning district.

June 27: Carver Planning Board hearing on 3 new lots in SLT subdivision. Should they get approved even though the are many legal questions about the mining operation and an expert says the project threatens drinking water and wetlands?

July 19: Carver Zoning Board of Appeals: final day of public hearing on Save the Pine Barrens request for enforcement of the Zoning Bylaw. The Zoning Bylaw makes it illegal to mine in the SSID zoning district where SLT’s mine is being conducted. On July 19, 2022, the ZBA refused to do its job, saying it lacked “subject matter jurisdiction” over zoning violations. The ZBA’s contorted legal argument is contrary to established law and wrong. STPB appealed the erroneous decision. Case was eventually dismissed by STBP in order to pursue other options.

September, 2022: Town of Plympton issues a cease and desist to SLT Construction to stop unpermitted earth removal on the Plympton portion of the site.

Fall, 2022: Carver Planning Board denies site plan review and special permit for Lot 3 on SLT’s plans. SLT sues the Planning Board. SLT changes the plans and the Planning Board issues the permit.

Fall, 2022: Carver Conservation Commission issues a wetlands permit for Lot 3 to put structures near Rickets Pond. Save the Pine Barrens and 10 Residents appeal the Conservation Commission’s permit to MassDEP. The appeal goes to a hearing in June 2024. Expert says the whole subdivision is in violation of the Clean Water Act and the state Wetlands law. Read the expert testimony here >>>


SLT applies to the Town of Plympton for an earth removal permit. Following a public hearing, the Town Selectboard says it will not proceed unless SLT supplies an environmental report to make sure the operation won’t harm drinking water. SLT never follows up.

SLT then applies to MassDEP for an asphalt, brick and concrete “recycling facility” on the Plympton portion of the land.

July 21, 2023: MassDEP asks SLT for more information before it acts on the permit. See MassDEP’s letter here. SLT never follows up with the environmental study.

November 14, 2023: SLT Construction appeals to try to get Plympton to issue a permit for a “materials processing facility.” See the appeal below. SLT says it has to mine 102,000 cubic yards to level the site for the facility. The Zoning Board of Appeals denies the permit.


The public continues the fight to hold the Town of Carver and SLT accountable for the destruction and harm caused by the 6-year long on going sand and gravel mine. Read more here about the wetlands hearing coming up on June 6, 2024. Read more here>>>


May 12. In the next step in the process of appealing the ERC’s 2021 permit to Marob Trust/SLT to expand on the north side of Rickets Pond, Plaintiffs file the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. Read their Memorandum and Motion to the Court here.

1 thought on “Carver: SLT’s massive sand mine on Route 44 level’s regions highest hill in 6 years for sand and gravel, harms people and environment

  1. […] Engineering did the plans. BEWARE! This company is also the one that is doing the work on the SLT strip mine on Route 44 that is emitting dust into Rickets Pond and all over the neighborhood. An expert report concludes this threatens public […]

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