Opinion: Support the effort to audit earth removal practices
To the Editor:
I am writing in support of the warrant article which encourages the Town of Wareham to audit the earth removal activities of cranberry grower A.D. Makepeace. This topic is scheduled for a vote at Town Hall on Oct. 25. If citizens have to play by the rules by obtaining permits, paying fees and being subjected to pre- and post-inspections for even the smallest of projects, then why is the massive Makepeace industrial-scale earth removal business allowed to operate permit-free and paying no fees at all? And are any penalties owed to the town for unlicensed earth removal?
How much revenue is lost by the town if the earth removal laws are not genuinely enforced?
And why is it an “honor system” for the cranberry turned earth removal giant while the rest of us are subjected to rigorous permit verification?
If all it takes is for Makepeace to have a free pass is to assert it uses every spoonful of sand it extracts solely for its own bogs — despite the hundreds of trucks hauling its sand out of Wareham — how do the rest of us get this unverified free pass?
And how come AD Makepeace advertises that it has limitless reserves of sand to sell to any willing buyer - nonagricultural included - yet has neither filed for nor obtained any earth removal permits in Wareham. Is it different set of rules for the biggest company in the Town?
And why not an audit of where all the sand has gone? The tired agricultural exception doesn’t apply to industrial earth removal unless the company can prove where all the sand ended up. Why is town Hall sticking their heads in the sand on this issue? Why the inequality of enforcement?
Respectfully submitted by:
Jean H. Lennon