PRKN & Friends of the Cacapon River Urge Caution on Proposed Campground

Emphasize Importance of Adequate Analysis of Sewer Lines Across Cacapon River, Control of Sediment During and After Construction, and Protection of Shoreline

Potomac Riverkeeper Network and Friends of the Cacapon River today issued a Position Statement concerning the proposed KOA Campground construction on Rt. 9 west of Berkeley Springs  in which they urge Scenic, LLC, the developer, and state authorities to defer construction until satisfactory assurances with adequate and independently verifiable measures are provided by Scenic, LLC to address both immediate and long term environmental concerns. 

Said Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, “I protect and defend the waters and aquatic habitat of the Upper Potomac River and its tributaries, including the pristine Cacapon River. While I am not opposed to the campground, I believe that certain requirements need to be met to assure that there are no negative impacts on the river and public access to it, the riparian surroundings, and their long term health.”

Some Concerns Stated in the Position Statement

Risk of increased effluent volume: Caution must be taken to ensure the new larger volumes of effluent from the KOA will not overwhelm the existing waste treatment process.

Risk of sediment pollution from sewer line across the Cacapon River. The proposed routing of the new sewer line to the wastewater plant in Great Cacapon must cross the Cacapon River. We are requesting that the State and developer take extreme caution to minimize pollution during the sewer line routing phase of the project. 

Risk of sediment impact. We strongly encourage Scenic, LLC to minimize sediment impacts on the watershed during and after construction. We call for Scenic, LLC to protect the riparian area, within 100 feet of the stream bank. Scenic, LLC should exclude any future campsites or support infrastructure in this riparian buffer and there should be no construction activity within 100 feet of the stream bank. 

Preservation and enhancement of native flora. We encourage Scenic, LLC to minimize mature tree removal and protect the existing plant community and replant native perennials, grasses, shrubs and tree plantings in any disturbed areas. 

Preservation of public access to the Cacapon River. The current public access to the Cacapon River at the bridge on Cacapon Rd is within the property lines of the proposed KOA. We strongly encourage that the access to the river remains open to the public and that the KOA would also ensure proper maintenance of the access area. 

Emergency Response to Pollution Releases: There should be an Emergency Response Plan for Great Cacapon in case of an emergency.

Tim Reese, President of Friends of Cacapon River, concluded by saying, “It is critically important that Scenic, LLC abides by the requirements to protect our watersheds and be a good steward of their land along the rivers. We must balance the opportunity to enjoy the Cacapon River with ensuring precautions and protections are taken to keep the watersheds healthy. The health and the beauty of our rivers are why people come here.”

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About Potomac Riverkeeper Network

Potomac Riverkeeper Network is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization with three regional Waterkeeper branches: Potomac Riverkeeper, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, and Shenandoah Riverkeeper. Our mission is to protect the public’s right to clean water in the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and their tributaries. We stop pollution to enhance the safety of our drinking water, protect healthy river habitats, and enhance public use and enjoyment. 

For more information, visit our website.

About Friends of the Cacapon River

For more than 40 years, Friends of the Cacapon River has sought to preserve, protect, and promote the environmental health and scenic character of the Cacapon River and its watershed.