PITTSBURGH, April 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD or Center), a collaborative between environmental organizations and energy companies to advance best management practices for the development of shale gas resources in the Appalachian region, announced today that it has certified EQT Corporation's Appalachian Basin operations as having successfully completed the CSSD's rigorous evaluation and verification process. Full CSSD certification confirms conformance with all 15 of the Center's Performance Standards.
"EQT Corp. is now the fourth major operator in the Appalachian Basin to demonstrate it can meet CSSD's 15 Performance Standards," said Susan LeGros, CSSD President and Executive Director. "In each of these 15 areas, EQT's Appalachian Basin operations meet or exceed state and federal air and water management regulatory requirements. EQT's certification, and the other operators who have qualified for certification and continue to maintain conformance to CSSD's standards, reinforces the importance and value of responsible voluntary actions and transparency that goes beyond simple compliance."
"As a founding member of CSSD, EQT is committed to assuring that shale development is approached in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner at all times," stated David Porges, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, EQT Corporation. "With a consistent focus on protecting the land, air and water near all our business operations, these efforts contribute to EQT's longstanding reputation as a safe, reliable and accountable operator."
All producers operating in the Appalachian region are eligible to apply for certification as a way to demonstrate their commitment to the highest performance standards.
Like all companies that earn CSSD certification, EQT's operations must continue to adhere to CSSD's Performance Standards, integrating CSSD's publicly available best practices into its long-term continuous improvement processes. CSSD will monitor adherence and continue to build and expand on its initial 15 Performance Standards.
The Audit Process
The evaluation and verification process for EQT was conducted by audit firm Bureau Veritas (BV), a global leader in testing, inspection and certification under contract to CSSD. As is standard practice, BV conducted a pre-audit to familiarize itself with EQT's management system and determine audit readiness of its operations.
The audit teams conducted a full-scale certification audit that began in July 2015 at the company. These audits consisted of in-depth documentation review, staff interviews at company offices, and a field-based component that verified that operational practices were in conformance with applicable standards. CSSD's Verification Protocol details the frequency and intensity of the field and audit activities. The Bureau Veritas audit team visited 18 EQT operating sites in the region.
Upon completion of the audit, Bureau Veritas submitted its findings in a report to CSSD, whose Certification Decision Committee, consisting of individuals not aligned with any CSSD participant, then reviewed the audit report and determined eligibility for certification.
CHEVRON Appalachia, CONSOL Energy and Shell Appalachia Complete Assurance Audits
As scheduled, all three previously certified companies, Chevron Appalachia, CONSOL Energy and Shell Appalachia have successfully completed assurance audits to ensure continued conformance with CSSD's performance standards.
Certification is valid for 24 months, after which companies can seek renewal. During the 24-month period, there is at least one assurance audit to make sure conformance with the standards is being maintained. Detailed summaries of completed assurance audit reports are accessible on CSSD's web site - www.SustainableShale.org.
About Center for Sustainable Shale Development
The CSSD is an independent organization that promotes performance standards and third-party certification to advance responsible practices when shale development takes place and scientific knowledge in the Appalachian Basin through a novel collaboration of environmental, industry and community stewards. For more information, visit, www.SustainableShale.org.
About EQT Corporation:
EQT Corporation is an integrated energy company with emphasis on Appalachian area natural gas production, gathering, and transmission. With more than 125 years of experience, EQT continues to be a leader in the use of advanced horizontal drilling technology – designed to minimize the potential impact of drilling-related activities and reduce the overall environmental footprint. Through safe and responsible operations, the Company is committed to meeting the country's growing demand for clean-burning energy, while continuing to provide a rewarding workplace and enrich the communities where its employees live and work. EQT also owns a 90% limited partner interest in EQT GP Holdings, LP. EQT GP Holdings, LP owns the general partner interest, all of the incentive distribution rights, and a portion of the limited partner interests in EQT Midstream Partners, LP.
Visit EQT Corporation at www.EQT.com.
SOURCE Center for Sustainable Shale Development