According to Reuters, two Pennsylvania families have been awarded $4.2 million in damages after a fracking lawsuit.
Fracking is the name of the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressured water mixture is aimed at the rock to release the gas inside.
Water, sand, and chemicals are injected to the rock at high pressure which makes the gas flow out of the head of the well.
Fracking is controversial because it requires large amounts of water that poses a great risk to the environment. Environmentalists also say that carcinogens can be released and contaminate the ground water around the site or can cause small earth tremors as the rocks fracture and become unstable.
The gas company Cabot Oil and Gas is due to pay two Pennsylvania families for damages suffered after the company’s fracking contaminated their ground water with methane gas during their fracking operations. The two families were the last of 40 that had originally sued Cabot. The others settled with the company back in 2012.
Six jurors awarded $1.3 million to Scott Ely and Monica Marta-Ely in Dimock. Each of their three children also received $50000. Ray and Victoria Hubert also received $720000 each and their daughter was given $50000.
Ely claims that the company is “arrogant and bullies their way to what they want”. This claim was made after the company’s attorney boxed them in during the trial and limited the evidence they could introduce or what they could say in their testimony.
George Stark, a Cabot spokesman said the company was surprised at the verdict and said that there was no evidence linking contamination of the wells to the company’s operations. They will be filing motions that claim the company was not given a fair trial.