Two children aged 7 and 10 have been banned from talking about fracking for the rest of their lives. It's part of a settlement received by their parents, who were awarded $750,000 from drilling company Range Resources to help them move from their fracking-polluted home in Washington County, PA.
It's common for adults in fracking settlements to be banned from ever talking about fracking, but including kids in the gag order is a novelty, and it sounds harder to enforce. During the settlement hearing the Hallowiches questioned what it would mean for their young children.
Before the settlement, the Hallowiches said that "air and water contaminants caused them to experience burning eyes, sore throats, headaches and earaches, and contaminated their water supply," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Because of the gag order in their settlement, the Hallowiches won't be saying any more about that.
Settlements with gag orders mean that little is known about the effects of fracking on people who live nearby it, according to anti-fracking advocates.