County Officials Approve Change To Water and Sewer Plan

SNOW HILL– A local campground can pursue an expansion following approval of a water and sewer amendment this week.

The Worcester County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved an amendment to the Worcester County Water and Sewerage Plan requested by Island Resort Campground. Connections of the campground are hoping to expand it by 62 sites.

“This is merely a planning approval,” said Mark Cropper, the campground’s attorney. “We can’t do anything until we get by this step in the process.”

Cropper told the commissioners the campground, which is located on the site of what was once a surface mine, had proven successfully since it was established in 2005. As a result, he said his client wanted to add 62 lots to the campground and needed an amendment to the county’s water and sewer plan to do so.

According to county staff, the proposed expansion will require additional wastewater treatment capacity. The campground plans to modify its existing wastewater treatment plant and add a 15-acre spray irrigation field.

During Tuesday’s public hearing, Assateague Coastkeeper Gabrielle Ross spoke against the proposed changes. She said that tributaries in that area fed the Newport Bay, an impaired waterway.

“Adding more waste to an already impaired body of water is not a good idea,” she said.

Cropper Island Road resident Charles Gunzelman said that in the 30 years he’d lived there he’d noticed a decline in the creek’s water quality. He said he hoped the water would be monitored going forward if the expansion came to be.

Cropper stressed this was a planning amendment and there would be other steps in the expansion process.

“The next step in the process is with the Maryland Department of the Environment to the extent the Maryland Department of the Environment or any other state, local, or federal regulatory agency believes that approving this amendment, or allowing these additional 62 lots, would in any way impair this or other waterways, I am fairly confident they would let us know that and that would be reflected in the denial of the permit or conditions of issuance,” he said.

The commissioners voted 7-0 to approve the amendment.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.