The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it issued separate orders to three mobile home parks in Thermal, California, on Tuesday to ensure that the drinking water in those parks was safe for the residents. The EPA also fined a separate mobile home park for their failure to comply with a previous order regarding drinking water. The four orders were issued under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The three mobile home parks all have separate public water systems in the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe’s Reservation. The orders issued to the three parks – the Mora Mobile Home Park, the Valladares Mobile Home Park and the Toledo Mobile Home Park – requires them to “comply with federal drinking water requirements and to identify and correct problems with their drinking water systems that present a danger to residents.”
Recent inspections by the EPA of the water from these mobile home parks revealed that the water exceeded arsenic drinking water standards. Side effects of frequently drinking water with high levels of arsenic include an increased chance of lung, bladder and skin cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and neurological damage.
The order requires Mora, Valladares, and Toledo Mobile Home Parks to inform their residents of the arsenic levels in the drinking water and instruct them to stop consuming it, provide each resident with one gallon of drinking water per day at no additional cost to them, submit a long-term compliance plan to the EPA, and lastly, to monitor the water and report their findings to the EPA.
If the mobile home parks fail to comply with the new orders, the EPA warns that they will each be subject to civil penalties. Indian Village Mobile Home Park was fined $3,021 for their failure to comply with a similar order issued by the EPA in 2020.