Managing impacts on and relations with the communities in which EQT operates. This includes the impacts of the transportation of materials, impacts on roads, noise pollution and specific community complaints or concerns. Our financial, educational and other support of communities is also addressed by this topic.
Why Managing It Matters
Local communities continue to be essential to the success and long-term growth of EQT’s business operations. Our operations affect nearby communities, so it is important that EQT conducts business and performs related operations with the support, trust, alignment and cooperation of our local communities.
Management Approach, Performance and Evaluation
EQT values the communities where we operate, and we focus on three areas to support and engage with them: managing our impacts, various forms of investment and being a good community citizen. As EQT strives to operate responsibly, we work to build trust by sharing information associated with our current, planned and proposed operations. Through public engagement, education, corporate giving and volunteering, we are better able to continue operating as a responsible natural gas producer.
Addressing Local Community Concerns and Public Perceptions
Increased truck traffic, road impacts, noise, dust, lights and 24/7 operations associated with the construction of wellpads, active drilling and the completion of wells are examples of concerns among local communities in our operating area. The size of a wellpad dictates the amount of time required to prepare and build the site but at minimum construction takes 120 days before drilling operations commence.
Prior to construction, EQT’s Land Department engages with surface owners1 where a site is planned to ensure mutual agreement on its location. Access to wellpads can be located near or shared with community neighbors and can lead to temporary heavy traffic and operations near local residences. The construction phase and increased truck traffic may produce noise from engine brakes, dust from dirt roads, lights from night operations and road impacts from high traffic volumes.
To better understand these concerns, our Local Government and Community Affairs Specialists — regionally based EQT employees — are responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with civic organizations, elected officials, emergency response personnel, business owners, residents and other local stakeholders. In 2018, these specialists worked closely with EQT’s Land, Permitting, Construction and Legal Departments, among others, to report concerns and engagement outcomes.
We use our awareness of community concerns to establish policies and procedures designed to minimize or eliminate many operational issues before they become disputes. For example, during the past several years, we have evaluated issues related to how our operations might affect nearby residents and businesses in more densely populated areas and worked to proactively mitigate any potential concerns. We also collaborate with counties and municipalities affected by truck traffic and associated road impacts from our operations to mitigate the burden on local economies. See 203-1: Infrastructure investments and services supported below.
As most of EQT’s visible workforce is contractor-based, the contracted company holds responsibility for worker behavior. That said, EQT will only contract with companies that share our values and commitment to the community.
The majority of our contractors hold daily safety meetings to address appropriate behaviors and minimize impacts on the local community. EQT works closely with our contractors to ensure removal or discipline of a worker on a case-by-case basis if recurring issues arise.
Our conscious efforts to understand and collaborate with local communities support our desire to become our industry’s operator of choice. We strive to communicate with all impacted community members and provide education of issues related to the natural gas industry. Our Local Government and Community Affairs Specialists demonstrate EQT’s commitment by:
- Gathering information to help EQT identify local concerns before they inconvenience neighbors
- Advocating for the community by ensuring that issues or concerns are addressed at the appropriate level within the company and ultimately achieve resolution
- Acting as a conduit for suggesting ways to strengthen EQT’s processes and procedures
- Providing an accessible local point of contact for residents to learn about current or future projects and how they may affect their communities
- Building relationships prior to the start of activity in new areas
Giving Back in Big Ways on #GivingTuesday
#GivingTuesday, celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the U.S., is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. In 2018, EQT and the EQT Foundation joined the movement by creating a full-day of service and philanthropic activities in our communities. EQT volunteered in the office and community, hand delivered checks to local nonprofits and municipalities, and donated a repurposed ice cream truck to a local food bank. The EQT Foundation matched qualifying charitable contributions made by EQT employees on a two-for-one basis. The company took to social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) using the hashtags #EQTGivesBack and #GivingTuesday to generate interest and encouraged employees to do the same.
In total, EQT Foundation granted more than $269,000 to nonprofits through its two-for-one matching contributions. Additionally, EQT donated $25,500 to local nonprofits and municipalities. Nearly 50 employees participated in volunteer programs.
EQT maintains an internal database to track all concerns raised to the Local Government and Community Affairs Specialists and includes elements from identification through resolution. The database enables EQT to avoid issue recurrence by assessing lessons learned. Annually, we analyze the results to identify trends in performance, benchmark against previous data and help determine any required procedural changes. We also conduct an annual survey targeted to local elected officials and community leaders to gauge performance and reputation. We utilize this information for internal review and improvement opportunities.
All regions within EQT’s Marcellus and Utica operations participated in organization-wide local community engagement, impact assessment and development programs in 2018.
|Nicoloff and Christen Wellpads||Noise complaints from operations at these pads in Morgan Township, Greene County, Pa||Ongoing noise complaints from surrounding neighbors were brought to the attention of EQT and township officials||At one point, the township filed a citation against EQT due to the complaints; the citation was later withdrawn||EQT responded with noise monitoring at several locations, adjusted sound mitigation at the Nicoloff Pad, and changed to daylight-only operations to help mitigate noise|
*EQT defines a significant dispute as one that has organized opposition or involves/affects more than 12 people.
EQT decommissioned 70 sites in 2018, which primarily involved the plugging and abandonment of old wells. None of our operations caused local residents to involuntarily resettle.
Giving Back to Our Communities
EQT and the EQT Foundation — a separate 501(c)(3) organization — support communities through local giving, sponsorship and philanthropic efforts. Charitable contributions from both EQT and the EQT Foundation are restricted to organizations primarily within those communities near EQT’s active operations.
Public Relations and/or Government Affairs leaders approve the majority of corporate donations to local communities. We follow a routine review and pre-approval process to avoid support of illegal or otherwise inappropriate activities. EQT donations support a variety of organizations ranging from small local nonprofits to municipalities seeking additional support for community projects that exceed their budgets. Other types of corporate support include sponsorships of county fairs, community festivals and other local events. Our support enables EQT to bond with our neighbors, enhance the quality of life for residents, educate residents about our company and industry, and provide an opportunity for our fellow community members to meet EQT employees.
Highlights from our 2018 local giving and corporate sponsorship initiatives included:
- $30,000 to Greene County, Pennsylvania, for the extension of the Greene River Trail along the Monongahela River
- $15,000 to sponsor the Washington and Greene County Covered Bridge Festival in Pennsylvania, a festival that brings the communities in the core of our operations together to celebrate local heritage
- $10,000 to Waynesburg Borough, Pa., to support the purchase of a new police vehicle
- $10,000 to Give Belmont County, a community enrichment fund in our newly acquired operating area in Ohio
- $7,000 to the Village of Bethesda, Ohio, Police Department for body and vehicle cameras
The EQT Foundation also provides funding for communities in and near EQT’s operating areas. The EQT Foundation’s board reviews all grant applications submitted by a qualifying nonprofit organization; all applications must comply with U.S. laws and regulations applicable to corporate foundations. In line with corporate support, foundation grants help to build relationships throughout EQT’s operational footprint. In 2018, the EQT Foundation supported local programming in five main funding priority areas:
- Arts and Culture
- Community and Economic Development
The Foundation periodically adjusts its funding priorities to ensure that its funding strategy matches the evolving needs of the communities where EQT operates. The EQT Foundation gave more than $7.7 million in 2018 to support local communities. Examples of the 2018 EQT Foundation grant recipients include:
- American Heart Association
- Arts Link
- Bentworth Blessings
- Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
- Crossroads Foundation
- Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh
- Friends of the St. Clairsville Public Library
- Jane Lew Volunteer Fire Department
- Main Street Farmers Market
- Mountaineer Food Bank
- National Aviary
- Oglebay Institute
- Operation Warm
- Pennsylvania Envirothon Inc.
- Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
- Tyler County Family Resource Network
- West Virginia Public Broadcasting Foundation
- West Virginia Students of Excellence Scholarship program
- Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
- Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation
EQT’s corporate giving, sponsorships and road and infrastructure improvements for communities totaled more than $11 million in 2018, while EQT Foundation provided nearly $8 million in grants and contributions.
|Local giving (EQT Corporation)||$365,000||$412,750||$487,897|
|County fairs, festivals, community events and sponsorships (EQT Corporation)||$526,125||$559,400||$559,425|
|Roads and infrastructure improvements (EQT Corporation)||$7,088,750||$4,379,119||$10,523,755|
|TOTAL INVESTMENTS (EQT CORPORATION)||$7,979,875||$5,351,269||$11,571,077|
|TOTAL GRANTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS (EQT FOUNDATION)||$6,200,000||$6,595,000||$7,778,600|
In 2018, EQT invested approximately $10.5 million to improve roads and associated infrastructure in affected communities in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, where the majority of our operations take place.
EQT Honored with the 2018 McCracken Legacy Award
On October 20, 2018, the Greene County Chamber of Commerce honored EQT Corporation with the McCracken Legacy Award in Waynesburg, Pa. This award recognizes organizations that demonstrate ambition, profitability, growth, sound business planning, customer satisfaction and management of people as well as a commitment to social responsibility and exemplary community involvement. The recipient must also demonstrate a positive social or economic impact to the region and community leadership.
For EQT Corporation, the nation’s top producer of natural gas, Greene County is one of its most prolific and successful operational areas. EQT plays a key role in developing the region’s abundant source of natural gas to meet the country’s demand for clean-burning energy, and Greene County is an essential part of that. However, it is not just about ‘doing business.’ Many of EQT’s employees live or grew up in the county and have profound respect for their neighbors.
With more than 130 years of experience and a long-standing history of good corporate citizenship in southwestern Pennsylvania, EQT strives to provide a rewarding workplace and enrich the communities where we work. EQT has made exciting and substantial investments in the wellbeing of Greene County residents, both economically and philanthropically, and is proud to be part of this community.
To learn more about this award and to hear from EQT’s community partners, please watch the 2018 McCracken Legacy Award video.
1Although EQT’s operations currently do not impact Native American/Indigenous communities, EQT is committed to working with these groups if/when applicable.