Marshfield: Selectmen vote against earth removal permit for soccer fields

Marshfield selectmen voted against Peter Armstrong’s contentious earth removal permit application Tuesday night, which would have paved the way for the construction of two youth soccer fields at Ferry and Grove Streets.

About 40 people packed the selectmen’s chambers to hear the decision – so many that they spilled out into the hallway.

Both Marshfield selectmen John Hall and Matt McDonough voted against the permit.

Selectman Steve Robbins did not vote since he was elected after the hearing was already closed.

Selectman chairman John Hall says the main reason he voted against the permit is because there wasn’t enough ground separation between the aquifer and the proposed depth of excavation. Hall says his main concern is the protection of the town’s drinking water, along with the dust, traffic and noise that would have resulted from the removal of approximately 460,000 cubic yards of earth.

“The water quality was the most important aspect of my vote against the permit. The problems with dust, noise and traffic are important too. People would have been eating sand dust in their cheerios for four years,” said Hall.

Jackie Little lives on Ferry Street near the excavation site and is adamantly opposed to the project.

Little said, “I think the selectmen made the right decision, not only for our neighborhood, but also for the students at the Furnace Brook School, that would have been disturbed by the noise of the 18 wheelers all day. There are also health concerns for children with asthma as well.”  

It would have taken an estimated 20 to 60 trucks per day, over a period of four years, to have completed the earth removal project.

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.