Oct 04, 2012

Pennsylvania DEP, EPA Crack Down on Water and Wastewater Violations

Mobile home park owner fined more than $1.3 million for violations in 17 counties


EPA DEP Water and Wastewater Violations Regulation

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that, along with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it has signed a $1,339,000 joint consent decree with GSP Management Co., Frank T. Perano and related companies due to drinking water and wastewater issues at 73 mobile home parks, 70 of which are in Pennsylvania.

The consent decree addresses specific violations at 32 of the Pennsylvania mobile home parks. At the agencies' direction, the company has agreed to take various corrective measures.

"This consent decree covers a pattern of serious, repeated violations GSP committed all across Pennsylvania," DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. "This should be a message to all — DEP is going to come down hard on those who show this type of disregard for our environmental protection laws."

DEP and EPA inspectors discovered violations at the mobile home parks during five consecutive years. The wastewater violations include illegal discharge of partially treated or untreated sewage into nearby streams and failure to properly operate and maintain wastewater treatment facilities. The drinking water violations include exceeding federal drinking water standards for certain pollutants and failing to notify residents about drinking water problems.

The consent decree also requires GSP to take numerous actions to achieve compliance and ensure park residents have access to clean water:

  • Conduct environmental audits at all the mobile home parks, including those that do not have any permits from DEP, by an independent auditor;
  • Implement specific corrective actions at the Village at Pleasant Hills in Hamburg, Berks County, and Cedar Manor near Middletown, Dauphin County;
  • Hire an environmental consultant to develop an environmental management system that will help GSP achieve environmental compliance through control and monitoring of its operations; and
  • Conduct monthly evaluations at all 73 mobile home parks and report the results every four months to DEP and EPA.

The company's actions constitute violations of the Clean Streams Law and Safe Drinking Water Act. The penalty will be divided between DEP and EPA.

The consent decree is subject to federal district court approval and will be published at a later date in the Federal Register, which will begin a 30-day public comment period.

For a complete list of the counties and violations, click here.