Kingston: Oct. 19, 2022: Zoning board issues cease and desist against O’Donnnell sand and gravel operation importing “fill”

  CLwpBS  Aquifer

VICTORY! On October 19, 2022 the Kingston ZBA voted unanimously to uphold building inspector’s cease and desist on O’Donnell’s 100 acre, 30 year old gravel pit now being filled with “urban debris” under DEP’s watchful eye.

The ZBA chair said, “I don’t want this poisoning my kids’ water. And this affects other towns too!”

Mining, construction and demolition debris dump threaten Smelt Ponds, Smelt Brook, groundwater & public health due to dust emissions

Site activities and groundwater impact must be investigated before further permits can be considered

Update: O’Donnell withdrew the permit for expansion and ZBA upheld Building Inspector’s cease and desist


Here is what the Kingston Earth Removal Bylaw says. The bylaw was amended at Town Meeting and the changes are under review at the Attorney General’s Office. If approved the changes will further restrict earth removal and strip mining.

O’Donnell has to get a permit from the Board of Selectmen. No permit should be granted while the project is in violation of the law. Does the town know how much earth has been removed? Where is the groundwater testing to make sure our drinking water is safe?

The application is incomplete and the Board should reject it. Further it does not and cannot meet the earth removal permit requirements under the Bylaw. McKenzie 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 and private drinking water wells.

O’Donnell mined out unknown quantities of sand and gravel, leaving a massive hole in the ground. Then the company made a special deal with the state DEP for an ongoing, years long dumping site for “urban debris” from construction sites. In goes tens of thousand of truck loads of this stuff-largely unregulated and uncontrolled, with little sampling of what’s in the trucks. The hill is getting higher than the surrounding land. Some speculate O’Donnell is building a hill of demolition debris for condos with a It’s “water view” of Cape Cod Bay!

DEP required groundwater monitoring wells for the dump, but as of June 2022, two years of well results have NOT BEEN DONE!

In April, there were NO samples of the incoming trucks to see what is being dumped in the big hole.

Dust escapes the site regularly, covering homes and Smelt Pond, just like with SLT in Carver. What are residents breathing in?

The state is AWOL and to date Kingston officials have turned a blind eye. Things are changing, and people have had enough. The Select Board should RESCIND their original endorsement of this granted in 2015. It has bee violated and was granted under false pretenses some claim.

Show up to oppose this strip mine expansion and protect our water, Smelt Pond and our community from unregulated, reckless strip mining and industrial sand and gravel operations!

Here are the state documents for the dump.

Smelt Ponds, Smelt Brook and groundwater threatened

The site is adjacent to Smelt Brook, once one of the largest smelt fishery runs in eastern Massachusetts. North & South Watershed Association is working on restoring it. Smelt Pond and Little Smelt Pond are also adjacent to the expansion site.

About a mile away in Plymouth, Claremont Development is proposing a 203 apartment complex in the already crowded Colony Place. What is the cumulative impact on our shared aquifer here?

About a mile away, Claremont Development is proposing 203 more units in Plymouth

See the state’s June 7, 2022 enforcement action against O’Donnell for the dump site here.

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