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article imagePennsylvania family gagged from speaking on fracking (video)

By Anne Sewell     Aug 13, 2013 in Environment
Mount Pleasant - Back in 2011, the Hallowich family sued a major oil and gas drilling company for contaminating their 10-acre farm property and drinking water and for the ensuing illness of the family. A hefty settlement was paid, along with a life-time gag order.
Under the settlement, Range Resources Corp. agreed to pay the Pennsylvania family $750,000, but issued a gag order, preventing the family from ever discussing discussing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. This gag order included their two young children, aged 5 and 9 at the time.
Chris Hallowich and his family had accused Range Resources Corp. of contaminating their 10-acre farm in Mount Pleasant, Penn, and poisoning their drinking water. They also accused fracking of endangering the health of their children, who suffered burning eyes, sore throats, headaches and earaches.
The settlement of $750,000 was to cover their relocation as well as ongoing medical treatment for the damaged health of the family through the contaminated water.
While the settlement was reached in 2011, it was only unsealed this week.
The family had to agree to an absolute, life-long gag order, promising that they will never discuss hydraulic fracturing of fracking in public. They, in turn, were just happy that they were able to move away from the area and live a decent and healthy life elsewhere.
According to the family's attorney, this is the first time he has ever heard of a gag order being placed on children as young as these.
“It’s unusual,” Peter Villari, attorney for the Hallowiches, told Yahoo! Shine “It’s unusual that you’re binding little kids to a nondisclosure agreement,” he said.
StateImpact Pennsylvania has now obtained the newly-available documents in the matter and they can be viewed here.
In the video below, Stephanie Hallowich tells her family's story about water issues due to fracking in Western PA, prior to the gag order being implemented:
More about Pennsylvania, Mount pleasant, Fracking, Hydraulic fracturing, Gag order
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