Last Document Released in Hallowich v Range $750K Settlement

It’s been a long struggle for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter, but they finally won–if you can call it a win. Last year, both newspapers sued to have a sealed court case opened. The case involves an off-the-record settlement between the Hallowich family in Washington County, PA and Range Resources, MarkWest Energy and Williams (see Pittsburgh Newspapers Sue to Unseal Drilling Court Case). The Hallowiches claimed nearby drilling and pipeline activity threatened the health of their family–in particular their two children. Range and the other plaintiffs elected to settle, but the case and all of the documents were closed as part of the settlement. So the newspapers sued to have the record opened.

In March of this year, a different judge reviewed the case and ordered the court documents be opened (see Judge Orders Range/Landowner Settlement in PA Made Public). Anti-drillers were disappointed to learn that there were no smoking guns–no admissions or evidence of any kind that drilling activity had polluted water, air, etc. In fact, among the documents was an affidavit signed by the Hallowiches stating that drilling had not caused any adverse health impacts for their family (see Affidavit in Range PA Settlement Shows No Drilling Health Impacts). However, there was one final document not made public by the court and the newspapers kept hounding. Success at last! The final document was released this week (copy embedded below). What does it say?…

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