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Officials: Mobile home park manager violated laws in 3 states

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 30 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 01 2012 05:02:29 PM CDT

A Berks County-based company that manages mobile home parks has been hit with a $1.3 million fine.

A Berks County-based company that manages mobile home parks has been hit with a $1.3 million fine.

GSP Management Co. violated state and federal laws at 73 facilities in three states, said officials.

Kristie Stump has collected a stack of papers highlighting water problems since she moved to The Village at Pleasant Hills in Tilden Twp., Berks Co.

"I know for a period our water was brown. It had like an orangey tint to it when it would come out," said Stump, who has lived in the mobile home park for eight years.

Stump and her neighbors said they're notified every few months their water is not safe to drink.

"You have to boil it first for a few days, and then after awhile you get a notice it's ok to drink it again," said Tara Simpson, who moved to the park over a year ago.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have fined the park's owner, Frank Perano, who operates under GSP Management Co., based in Morgantown, $1.3 million.

A settlement agreement has been filed after the agencies found 4,300 Clean Water Act violations at 15 mobile home parks in Pennsylvania, where the company treats waste water, and more than 900 Safe Drinking Water Act violations at 30 mobile home parks, also in Pennsylvania.

A multi-year investigation found 73 communities are involved. Seventy are in Pennsylvania, including The Village at Pleasant Hills.

"The biggest issue is the waste water because their sewage system cannot handle the amount of sewage flow," said Lisa Kasianowitz, spokeswoman for DEP.

The violations span five years. The company has agreed to pay, and a settlement has been reached to remedy the problems.

The owner has been given until July 2013 to hook up the current sewage system at The Village at Pleasant Hills to Tilden Township's public system. An environmental audit also needs to be completed and submitted to DEP within 180 days, stating why the issues are happening at the park.

"The company cooperated fully with the investigation and is committed to undertake the corrective measures necessary to ensure ongoing compliance at all of its properties," wrote Ken Kilpatrick, spokesman for GSP Management Co., in a statement to 69 News.

Other violations were reported in Delaware and Virginia. The company must also conduct monthly compliance evaluations at all the mobile home parks.

The complaint filed with the proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval.