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Settlement reached with mobile home park owners over drinking water and waste water violations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2012

 

PHILADELPHIA - The owners of 73 mobile home park communities, which house thousands of residents, agreed today to pay a $1,339,000 penalty to resolve allegations that they violated federal and state environmental laws and regulations concerning the treatment of sewage and drinking water. The settlement agreement was filed in federal court on Friday.

Frank Perano and a series of his corporations and related entities own, operate, and/or manage mobile home parks in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia. After a joint multi-year investigation, EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) found evidence of more than 4,300 Clean Water Act violations at 15 mobile home parks in Pennsylvania where the defendants treat waste water, and more than 900 Safe Drinking Water Act violations at 30 mobile home parks also in Pennsylvania. The complaint filed with the proposed consent decree in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania details violations during the past five years. The monetary settlement will be divided between the United States and Pennsylvania.

The Clean Water Act violations involved illegal discharges of partially treated or untreated sewage into nearby streams and failure to properly operate and maintain treatment facilities. Safe Drinking Water Act violations generally involved the defendants’ exceedances of federal drinking water standards for certain pollutants and their failure to notify residents about drinking water problems.

EPA and PADEP identified the violations by conducting inspections, sharing technical and legal expertise, and requiring the defendants to provide documentation concerning sampling, operation and maintenance, and other regulated activities.

While not all of the defendants’ mobile home parks were cited for violations, the investigation identified widespread environmental management problems that warranted company-wide measures. In addition to the penalty, the consent decree requires the defendants to take numerous steps to protect public health and the environment and achieve compliance with environmental regulations at all 73 of its mobile home parks, including:

• Hiring an approved third-party environmental consultant to perform environmental audits at each mobile home park, including examination of the treatment, collection, and drinking water systems. The environmental audits will include a report that will identify any corrective measures needed to achieve and maintain compliance.

• Implementing the corrective measures in a timely fashion, subject to EPA and PADEP oversight and approval.

• Conducting monthly compliance evaluations at all the mobile home parks.

• Implementing specific corrective measures at two mobile home parks in Pennsylvania that had significant problems.

• Working with the environmental consultant to develop a company-wide set of processes and practices designed to enable the defendants to reduce its environmental impacts and help prevent the defendants from repeating the kinds of violations they made in the past. EPA will monitor the defendants’ implementation of and compliance with these processes and practices throughout the life of the consent decree.

• Paying stipulated penalties for future violations and taking specific response actions if ongoing violations occur.

“The obligations of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act protect us all,” United States Attorney Zane Memeger said. “Citizens know that when they turn on their taps, the water that they are drinking is safe, and when they walk beside a creek or swim in a river, that water is clean.”

“This settlement protects human health and the environment by requiring the defendants to improve their environmental management systems, and achieve compliance at their numerous mobile home parks,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “While reinforcing our commitment to environmental justice for rural communities, this case demonstrates the benefit of federal and state agencies working together to hold chronic violators of environmental regulations accountable for their actions.”

The defendants cooperated with the investigation. As part of the settlement, the defendants did not admit liability for the alleged violations.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval.

The case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory B. David and Assistant Regional Counsel for the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Assistant Counsel Martin R. Siegel handled the case on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The matter was investigated by EPA Region III Water Protection Division and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The Mobile Home Parks where wastewater discharge violations occurred are:

Alex Acres, Halifax Pa.
Black Hawk Village, Centre Hall, Pa.
Brookhaven Mobile Home Park, York, Pa.
Bucknell View, Milton, Pa.
Cedar Manor, Elizabethtown, Pa.
Green Hill Mobile Home Park, Green Lane, Pa.
Indian Run Village, Honey Brook, Pa,
Melody Lakes Country Club Estates, Quakertown, Pa.
Mountain View Terrace, Dover, Pa.
Northview Estates, Indiana, Pa.
Northwood Manor, York Haven, Pa.
Pine Manor Mobile Home Park, Middletown, Pa.
Shady Back Acres, Harrisburg, Pa.
Shamrock Court, Duncansville, Pa.
The Pines at West Penn, New Ringgold, Pa.
Village at Pleasant Hills, Hamburg, Pa.

The Mobile Home Parks where Safe Drinking Water Act violations occurred are:

Alex Acres, Halifax Pa.
Apple Blossom Lane, Duncansville, Pa.
Bucknell View, Milton, Pa.
Canal Mobile Park, White Mills, Pa.
Cedar Manor, Elizabethtown, Pa.
Country Manor Farms, Harrisburg, Pa.
D & H Court, Milton, Pa.
Green Hill Mobile Home Park, Green Lane, Pa.
Indian Run Village, Honey Brook, Pa,
Lehigh Terrace Court, Duncansville, Pa.
Lincoln Crest, Dover, Pa.
Mountain View Terrace, Dover, Pa.
Newberry Estates, York Haven, Pa.
Newberry Farms, Manchester Pa.
North Hills, Lewistown, Pa
Northview Estates, Indiana, Pa.
Northwood Manor, York Haven, Pa.
Orchard Hills, Shermans Dale, Pa.
Pine Manor Mobile Home Park, Middletown, Pa.
Pocono Mobile Manor, Gouldsboro Pa.
Shady Back Acres, Harrisburg, Pa.
Spring Hill, Whitehaven, Pa.
Stony Brook Circle, Orangeville, Pa.
Sunrise Terrace, Honesdale, Pa.
The Pines at West Penn, New Ringgold, Pa.
Tiadaghton View, Montoursville, Pa.
Twin Hills Village, Montoursville,Pa.
Village at Pleasant Hills, Hamburg, Pa.

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525

 

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