Carver: Owners of Slocum Gibbs Cranberry & Triple J Trucking profit from mining operations under ruse of cranberry agriculture while on Earth Removal Committee

  CLwpBS  Carver

While Chair of the Earth Removal Committee, John Garretson III conducted earth removal operations on his land under the ruse of agricultural excavation

ERC member John Shurtleff of Triple J Trucking reportedly hauled sand and gravel for Garretson while on ERC

MassDEP and Carver Conservation Commission cover up for destructive sand mining under the ruse of “agriculture”

Mining removed about 30 acres of forest, excavated in the Sole Source Aquifer and impacted wetlands

A September 28, 2022 letter to the Carver Earth Removal Committee demands an investigation, forensic audit and penalties for the unlawful removal of vast amounts of sand and gravel from Carver by long time former chair of the ERC, John Garretson III, President and owner of Slocum-Gibbs Cranberry and ERC member John Shurtleff, Jr. of Triple J Screening and Trucking. Slocum-Gibbs grows cranberries for Ocean Spray and also does sand and gravel removal. The Carver ERC has no records of any Earth Removal Permit issued for Garretson’s two sites, no records that the projects are exempt from the Earth Removal Bylaw, and no records that Garretson paid the earth removal fees due to the Town under the Bylaw. This was confirmed by two Public Records Requests to the Town. Here are the only known ERC records produced by the Town – Slocum-Gibbs’ permit application the License for Shurtleff to haul sand. It the Town has the records, they have illegally refused to make them public.

At the April 29, 2021 ERC meeting Garretson makes excuses for the illegal activities of the cranberry industry hauling sand in Carver. Garretson claims Jim Kane of AD Makepeace didn’t know the rules about earth removal. Who is kidding who?

During the approximately 18 years of Slocum Gibbs’ illegal earth removal, the current ERC Chair, Mr. Ieronimo, served as a member of the ERC and knew or should have known what was going on. His apparent complicity in this scheme disqualifies him from participating in the investigation. 

At least one of the Selectboard members also knew or should have known of this scheme by Slocum-Gibbs, since she was employed by the Town as Conservation Agent when it issued an Order of Conditions for this obvious sand and gravel mining ruse.

The Selectboard’s recent appointment of John Mason to the ERC demonstrates a blatant disregard for impartial administration of the Carver Earth Removal Bylaw – Mason works for Slocum-Gibbs and sand mining company AD Makepeace.

At these two sites, Slocum Gibbs has removed at least 650,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel, threatening our drinking water. The sites are 27-acres on Tremont Street and 10-acres on a large parcel on Wareham Street in Carver. (Links are to Drone Videos of the sites).

2015: Tremont Street: Slocum-Gibbs dug a pond to extract sand and gravel from the Plymouth Carver Sole Source Aquifer. This photo shows sand being mined from the aquifer and washed on site. Sand is washed to remove silt to improve its marketability.

2019: Slocum Gibbs mining site on Tremont Street, Carver: sorting sand and gravel.

MassDEP refuses to enforce the Wetlands Protection Act despite this obvious sand and gravel mining ruse under the pretense of building a cranberry reservoir. In July 2022 MassDEP issued a non-sensical and illogical ruling saying this mining operation is exempt from the wetlands laws because it is “normal improvement of land in agricultural use.” If the agricultural project hasn’t been built in 18 years but at least 450,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel have been removed how can this be exempt under the Wetlands Protection Act? DEP contradicts itself and says on one hand the work is exempt from the wetlands lands but then admits Slocum-Gibbs obtained an Order of Conditions wetlands permit from the Carver Conservation Commission – now expired.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *