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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Final Document Revealed in Hallowich vs. Range Resources Case

After a prolonged fight by a newspaper and many activists to get all of the previously sealed records in a high-profile lawsuit that was brought against driller Range Resources by a PA family that alleged adverse health impacts from the company's operations, the smoking gun that many hoped they would find is nowhere to be found.

Instead, the unsealed records revealed that the family signed a document stating that the family actually had no health problems that could be attributed to drilling operations, that they received $750,000, and now, in the final document, that the family continues to receive royalty payments on the property that they have cleared out from.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The 17-page settlement agreement also includes the Hallowiches' previously reported payoff of $750,000, and notes they will continue to receive oil and gas royalties under the terms of a lease agreement entered into by the previous owners of their farm. 
It prohibits them from objecting to any drilling under any new property or residence they may own, and details the lifetime nondisclosure and nondisparagement clauses preventing them from speaking publicly about the settlement or protesting or challenging any gas development activity or lease by the operators. The operators also agreed not to disclose the terms of the settlement nor to disparage the Hallowiches. 
Before signing the agreement in August 2011, Stephanie Hallowich and her husband, Chris, had been vocal critics of the shale gas development that surrounded their 10-acre farm in Mount Pleasant, Washington County. 
The settlement agreement states the companies denied their shale gas development activities caused any health problems, and Matt Pitzarella, a Range spokesman, has repeated that position in recent weeks when the Hallowich case has been in the news. 
"We are pleased that the public now has access to this information, which clearly demonstrates that there [are] absolutely no health, environmental or safety impacts from gas development," Mr. Pitzarella said in an emailed statement.
The settlement included an admission by the family that it suffered no environmental, health or safety impact from drilling adjacent to their property.
Read the whole article here.

And here is the last bit of unsealed records:

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