Equitrans Midstream relies on proactive community engagement and feedback to foster a culture of trust, inclusivity, and transparency, and we view our projects and operations through a lens of responsibility and accountability. In keeping with this belief, environmental justice is an important component of our stakeholder outreach activities. Our Environmental Justice Policy lays the foundation of our commitment to provide for the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people in any public process involving our operations, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income.
It is often said that actions speak louder than words, which was the case for the outreach team working on our Ohio Valley Connector Expansion (OVCX) project. As a critical component of the project’s pre-planning phase, our team contracted the services of an outside vendor that specialized in the identification of environmental justice communities located near the project. After consulting with the FERC, the EPA, and our contracted environmental justice specialists, Equitrans extended the OVCX project’s landowner contact radius an additional 0.5 mile to maximize the outreach efforts and ensure all stakeholders were personally aware of and involved with the project details.
In addition to our land team contacting property owners and community members within the expanded radius, the OVCX outreach team conducted multiple pop-up educational meetings and community open houses; solicited pre-paid comment and suggestion cards; distributed various informational mailings; and remained engaged with the community every step of the way by responding to questions and feedback. To better understand the needs and challenges faced by those living near the proposed project, we also met with local organizations and elected officials, as well as other key decision makers. These additional, proactive measures taken by our OVCX outreach team went above and beyond regulatory requirements to ensure consistent communication and transparency throughout the project’s lifecycle.