Mobile Home Park Manager Fined for 4300 Clean Water Act and 900 Safe Drinking Water Act Violatations
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, the US Environmental Protection Agency (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 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’ exceeding 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-part 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.
“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 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.”
All of the mobile home parks cited were in Pennsylvania.