The Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD) has certified Shell’s operations in the Appalachian Basin for meeting its 15 performance standards on environmental stewardship and continuous improvement for air and water.

The Center awarded the certification following an audit of Shell’s operations within the Appalachian Basin by independent auditors. In addition to the initial desk-top review of required materials from Shell, a three-member audit team reviewed approximately 100 records and documents and interviewed employees in the office and at multiple well locations and compressor stations.

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, CSSD is an unprecedented, collaborative effort of environmental organizations, philanthropic foundations, energy companies and other stakeholders committed to safe, environmentally responsible shale development. As a founding member, Shell has been actively involved in the organization from the beginning.

“A tremendous amount of hard work has been put forth by non-government organizations, operators and all founding members of CSSD to make the certification process a reality,” said Mike De Witt, General Manager for Shell’s operations in the Appalachian Basin. “Our certification is external recognition of the tremendous strides Shell has made in this space over the last several years.”  

Shell played an active role in the organization, working with a variety of stakeholders to address imperatives for prudent development of shale gas resources. It is one of four energy companies participating in the organization. Others are Chevron, CONSOL Energy and EQT Corporation. Other CSSD members include Benedum Foundation, Clean Air Task Force, Environmental Defense Fund, Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), Heinz Endowments, Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture), Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the William Penn Foundation.

“I appreciate the time and effort invested to develop these performance standards.  The willingness of all parties to work together has been one of the biggest breakthroughs and this sets a very high bar for the industry,” said Michael Crothers, Vice President of Shell North America Unconventionals.  “This demonstrates that organizations with opposing views can work together. It’s hard work, but through rational, fact-based conversation, we can reach common ground, and in the process, pull the whole industry forward in terms of responsibly developing resources.”

Shell will continue to work collaboratively with CSSD to build additional standards, as well as recruit other operators into the certification process.

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