Attorney General Cuomo Announces Settlement To Clean Up Hazardous And Unsanitary Conditions In Mobile Home Parks
ROCHESTER, NY (December 20, 2007) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a settlement to clean up dangerous and unsanitary conditions at mobile home parks, including contaminated drinking water, leaking sewage and excess amounts of uncollected trash.
The sites house approximately 250 residents, including some who rely on a fixed income. The settlement covers sixteen mobile home parks located four counties: Ontario, Steuben, Wayne and Yates. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) worked closely with the Attorney General's office to achieve this settlement.
"As these parks fell into disrepair, the residents had no choice but to endure harsh and in some cases hazardous conditions because they could not afford to leave" said Attorney General Cuomo. "The park owners took advantage of this, ignoring the fact that their tenants were exposed to unsafe drinking water, overrun trash facilities and sewage leaking into the ground. Today's settlement will ensure that the hundreds of people living in these parks no longer face such deplorable living conditions."
In 2004, the DOH cited mobile home parks operated by Glenn Houle and his son Robert Houle for numerous and repeated violations of the Public Health Law. An investigation last year by the Attorney General's office and DOH found numerous and repeated violations of the Public Health Law at mobile home parks operated by operated by the Houles.
The violations included:
- Park drinking wells contaminated with bacteria;
- Raw sewage leaking into the ground at park sites;
- Excess trash gathering uncollected on park grounds;
- Inadequate rodent and pest control;
- Exposed wires at park electrical facilities creating the risk of severe electric shock.
The Attorney General's settlement with the Houles requires them to follow a detailed, park-by-park schedule for correcting all of these health code violations and pay a $9,000 penalty.
"Our department's priority is to protect the safety and well-being of the residents of these dilapidated mobile home parks. I am pleased that we were able to work with the Attorney General's office in reaching a solution that will lead to the proper clean up of these unsanitary and hazardous conditions," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D.
On September 26, 2007, Attorney General Cuomo brought over twenty key members of his leadership team to Rochester to meet with local officials and groups and held a community-wide forum. The initiative was designed to make the office more responsive to the needs of the region. Environmental and public health issues were two of the key topics discussed during the days events.
The settlement announced today was handled in the Attorney General's office by Assistant Attorney General Timothy Hoffman of the Environmental Protection Bureau, under the supervision Assistant Attorney General Lisa Burianek and Special Deputy Attorney General for Environmental Protection Katherine Kennedy.