Article Courtesy of Sarah Tincher|The State Journal|September 18, 2014|Shared as Educational Material
Chevron Appalachia has been named the first company to successfully complete the Center for Sustainable Shale Development’s evaluation and verification process, the Center announced Sept. 18.
The Center, a collaborative between environmental organizations and energy companies to encourage prudent and responsible development of shale gas resources in the Appalachian region, has awarded Chevron full CSSD certification against all 15 of the Center’s Performance Standards that serve as the foundation for CSSD’s independent third-party evaluation and verification program.
To earn the certification, Chevron conducted a two-year preparatory process based on CSSD’s initial 15 Performance Standards for air and water that were developed to reflect leading industry practices in the Appalachian Basin.
The CSSD’s air and climate Performance Standards focus on flaring limitations, use of green completions, reduced engine emissions, and emissions controls on storage tanks; and the Center’s surface and ground water Performance Standards highlight water recycling maximization, groundwater protection plan development, closed loop drilling, well casing design, groundwater monitoring, wastewater disposal, impoundment integrity and reduced toxicity fracturing fluid.
As a certification awardee, Chevron is required to adhere to CSSD’s Performance Standards in the Appalachian Basin; CSSD will monitor adherence and continue to build and expand on its initial 15 Performance Standards.
“The awarding of certification recognizes hundreds of hours of diligent and careful work on the part of many at Chevron, but also, countless others from environmental organizations, philanthropic foundations and other energy companies who dedicated so much to define a process for setting and verifying voluntary and uncompromisingly high performance expectations in shale gas development,” said Susan LeGros, CSSD president and executive director. “This achievement is a beginning, not only for this company, but also in the larger effort to demonstrate that through collaboration, a strong commitment to prudent and responsible practices, and a long-term view of environmental stewardship, we can build on what we have begun with the inception of CSSD.”
The evaluation and verification process was commenced by auditor Bureau Veritas, a global leader in testing, inspection and certification under contract to CSSD, which first conducted a pre-audit to familiarize itself with Chevron, followed by full-scale certification audit in June 2014 that consisted of in-depth documentation review, staff interviews at Chevron’s offices and a field-based component that verified that Chevron’s operational practices were in conformance with applicable standards. The Bureau Veritas audit team visited 22 Chevron sites — 16 in Pennsylvania, four in West Virginia and two in Ohio — during the process.
Chevron applied for the certification in April 2014, just three months after CSSD opened the certification process in January. The certification is valid for 24 months, after which companies can seek renewal.