Industrial scale sand mining is devastating Southeastern Massachusetts. Vast deposits of globally rare “silica” sand laid down by the glacier are being stripped off for commercial sale. Often this is under the ruse of a cranberry bog project.
Up to a dozen mining operators are mining in groundwater or have mined into the ground water and filled it it, covering it with “cranberry bogs” or “solar projects.”
We are fighting to enforce the state’s Wetlands Protection Act to prevent sand mining from destroying our rivers. In most towns the law is being broken and conservation commissions let big mining operations claim and “agricultural exemption” from the wetlands laws.
Forests are being clearcut and silt is running off into the rivers. This drone footage of Foley Farms shows silt from a mining operation running off into the Weweantic River.
What is happening to our rivers, wetlands and Sole Source Aquifer?
Industrial sand mining in wetlands violates the law and destroys our environment. Yet, local commissions and boards ignore wetlands laws and readily grant “agricultural exemptions” for mining operations.
Save the Pine Barrens is challenging these claims by mining companies that they are exempt from state and local wetlands laws.
#1 Eric & Elaine Weston
$1.2 million of sand and gravel
In 2021, the Earth Removal Committee permitted this project based on 10 year old plans; Westons claim this is an exempt agricultural operation. They never applied to the Conservation Commission. Elaine Weston was the secretary for the Earth Removal Committee for years and was responsible for all the records and permits. Was this a conflict of interest? Eric and Elaine Weston own bogs and are related to Gary Weston, owner of the land being leased for the Carver Battery Bomb site off Craig Street.
Cedar Meadow Cranberry
Strip Mine & Solar & Cranberry Bog?
0 Rear Ward Street, Map 120, Lot 5
Borrego Solar planning a ground mounted system
Filed subdivision plans – April 2022
In 2021, the Carver Earth Removal Committee gave Pontiff a permit to mine in the last remnant of a rare Atlantic Cedar Swamp. This is BioMap 2 Critical Natural Landscape and near an Estimated Habitat of Rare Species in the area. The Ten Residents appeal is here:
Pontiff has an ongoing strip mining operation in South Plymouth near Great Sandy Pond. This ia 836,186 cubic yard strip mine under the ruse of a tail water recovery pond for cranberries. The Plymouth ZBA issued a strip mine permit in 2018 and renewed it for another 3 years in February 2021 without a public hearing. Documents are here. More to follow. Pontiff did earth mining in a wetlands.
# 3 Foley Farms, Jabez Bridge Road, Carver
FOLEY’S FAKE CRANBERRY & BLUEBERRY FARM
A cover for $1 million in sand & gravel; Carver Conservation Commission refuses to stop illegal project & Ten Residents appeal to state DEP. Will DEP act to protect our water?
Posing as a blueberry and cranberry farm, industrial mining company Foley Farms is expanding its mining operation by digging into a pond and expanding it to extract sand and gravel. In 2020, the Carver Earth Removal Committee gave a permit for a big strip mine that covered the neighborhood with dangerous silica sand. In 2021, the Earth Removal Committee gave a second permit to expand for another 40,000 cubic yards. The Conservation Commission gave an illegal waiver in 2021. Save the Pine Barrens is appealing the Conservation Commission’s failure to do its job. See the appeal here. This project is right on the Weweantic River.