A Dream Dashed by the Rush on Gas
The shale gas industry maintains that its safeguards protect drinking water and land. But there have been accidents, and mistrust has been sown as the industrial process has moved into rural communities.
Chris and Stephanie Hallowich say they tried to choose carefully when they were seeking out their dream home in southwestern Pennsylvania. Thinking of their two young children, the high school history teacher and his wife, an accountant, rejected one property when they learned it had once been the site of a strip mine for coal. They settled instead on 10 acres of long-fallow farmland for $20,000, and began to build.
The Hallowiches’ yellow, two-story home in Mount Pleasant Township, about 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh in Washington County, was completed in November 2007. Nestled on a wooded hill far from the main roadway, it has a swing set and a garden on rolling land where the children could run.
But even as