Why Managing It Matters
Our operational emissions can affect local air quality in the areas where we operate. By carefully tracking and inspecting our local air emissions and sources, we are better positioned to identify tools and processes to improve our systems. As we work to reduce local air emissions, we contribute to a healthier environment, lessening our impact on local communities. Further, a compliant emissions program enables EQT to protect air quality and maintain a positive reputation with local communities and regulators, which can streamline permitting for new facilities.
EQT monitors our operational air emissions to comply with relevant regulations. Our Environmental Management System (EMS) collects data for every station, calculates emissions based on monthly data and informs the continuous improvement of our processes and procedures. Generally, each individual permit requires inventories of such data tracking; and in some cases, we have actively tracked inventories dating back to 1991.
EQT’s Environmental Department, led by our Corporate Director, Environmental Affairs, is responsible for the oversight and management of all aspects of our environmental footprint. This department reports to the Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety and is ultimately guided by the Corporate Responsibility Committee of the board of directors. Within the Environmental Department, the air quality team is responsible for air quality permitting, compliance and reporting. We report environmental progress — including emissions reports, notices of violations and obtained permits — to the EQT Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility Committee quarterly.
Permits and Monitoring
EQT must obtain operational permits, including air quality permits, prior to construction and operation in new locations. A strong air quality compliance record can streamline this process. Once obtained, our operations group reviews the permit and notes any future compliance responsibilities. We communicate the requirements to our field workers to ensure appropriate data is collected and uploaded into our EMS, which tracks our emissions, obligations, limits and air quality requirements. Our Environmental Department reviews the system monthly and identifies improvement processes for tracking and inputting information on an ongoing basis.
Evaluating Our Approach
Audits and Reporting
EQT utilizes inspections and audits to review compliance obligations and improve our operations. Third-party audits occur annually for a selection of operating facilities. Our environmental group also conducts internal inspections on our facilities and sites. Our corporate auditing group periodically selects internal programs or processes to audit as well. In reviewing findings, lessons learned can be applied to similar facilities via a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle of continuous improvement.
Additionally, emissions reporting obligations vary by state. Where required, EQT submits emissions reports and, in some cases, permit compliance certifications. We also send overview reports to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as report de minimis thresholds for relevant emissions.
Inspections and Benchmarking
EQT’s compliance personnel in each state inspect our work site locations regularly — including compressor stations, well pads and drilling sites — to evaluate air quality compliance. They also meet with state regulators to ensure we are aligned with state air quality regulations and we conduct periodic leak detection and repair. We benchmark our air emissions against our peers to identify potential improvement areas and evaluate what drives internal emissions across our operating regions.
We strive to maintain 100% facility compliance with all permit requirements and emissions limitations, and we review any operational incidents and notices of violation. We utilize stack test data, manufacturers’ data and published emissions factors to calculate our significant air emissions.
|Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)||Sulfur Oxides (SOx)||Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)||Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP)||Particulate Matter (PM)||Carbon Monoxide (CO)||Formaldehyde|
|Nitrogen oxides — NOx||3.95||2.23||3.93|
|Sulfur oxides — SOx||0.41||0.28||0.57|
|Volatile organic compounds — VOC||0.75||4.61*||1.21|
|Hazardous air pollutants — HAP†||0.05||0.45*||0.07|
|Particulate matter — PM||0.13||0.07‡||0.10|
|Carbon monoxide — CO||1.50||0.84||1.20|
*Data does not include emissions from facilities acquired from Rice Energy for the period of November 13, 2017 – December 31, 2017.
†2017 increase due to change in calculation methodology by the EPA. 2018 decrease mainly due to a survey of pneumatic controllers in the field. The survey found less pneumatic controllers in the field than was estimated in previous years. The reduction in controllers reduced emissions as the emissions are entirely based on controller count.
‡Decrease due to a decrease in drilling activity.