Governance

Asset Safety and Integrity

At Equitrans, we continually work to safeguard our pipelines, compressor stations, and storage wells and to protect their operational integrity. We are committed to utilizing the best environmental practices across all aspects of our operations, and we make every effort to meet, or exceed where possible, all applicable compliance regulations. Our commitment to compliance serves as a key tenant of our corporate culture.

 

Our Approach to Asset Safety and Integrity

2-27
Compliance with laws and regulations

3-3
Management of material topics

413-2
11.15.3
Operations with significant actual and potential negative impacts on local communities

416-1
11.3.3
Assessment of the health and safety impacts of product and service categories 

416-2
Incidents of non-compliance concerning the health and safety impacts of products and services

EM-MD-520a.1
Total amount of monetary losses as a result of legal proceedings associated with federal pipeline and storage regulations

EM-MD-540a.1
Number of reportable pipeline incidents, percentage significant

EM-MD-540a.2
Percentage of (1) natural gas and (2) hazardous liquid pipelines inspected

EM-MD-540a.4
Discussion of management systems used to integrate a culture of safety and emergency preparedness throughout the value chain and throughout project lifecycles

2-27
3-3
413-2
416-1
416-2
EM-MD-520a.1
EM-MD-540a.1
EM-MD-540a.2
EM-MD-540a.4

For Equitrans, the functionality and safety of our assets, such as our pipelines, is crucial to our business values and success. The primary goal of our pipeline safety practices is to protect our employees, contractors, and the local communities where we live and operate. Our pipelines are operated, maintained, and repaired in accordance with current U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations and industry standards for safe pipeline operations, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping Systems Standard and the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practices 80 for Onshore Gas Gathering Lines. We adhere to federal U.S. DOT gas transmission pipeline integrity regulations (49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 192, subpart O) and regularly complete public safety assessments, such as pipeline encroachment and leak surveys, confirmation excavations, and materials testing to ensure asset integrity on both high-pressure gathering and transmission assets. As we strive to exceed regulations, these supplemental assessments, while not always required by federal or state government agencies on non-jurisdictional assets, are an important part of our safety culture.

Additionally, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is an operating administration with the U.S. DOT that develops and enforces requirements for the pipeline transportation system. In 2020, Congress enacted the 2020 Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act. Section 114 of the 2020 PIPES Act is often referred to as the “methane mandate” and requires pipeline operators to update policies, plans, and procedures to include mechanisms and work procedures that document how methane is being mitigated across the pipeline system  an industrywide requirement that goes above and beyond the rules set forth by traditional environmental regulators. Equitrans complied with the methane mandate by updating our Operations and Maintenance Plan (O&M Plan) to include processes, procedures, and methods that we currently utilize to eliminate leaks and minimize methane emissions. As with other industry operators, we were audited by PHMSA in 2022 to gauge our adoption. Equitrans is pleased to report there were no findings that resulted from the audit.

Equitrans proactively invested approximately $2.5 million in pipeline safety initiatives and $1.6 million in corrosion prevention activities in 2022.

Equitrans is committed to working with oversight agencies to embed our environmentally conscious practices into pipeline safety documentation. While there was no additional funding needed to comply with the methane mandate, we proactively invested approximately $2.5 million in pipeline safety initiatives and $1.6 million in corrosion prevention activities in 2022. In addition to traditional in-line inspection and corrosion activities, the budget accounts for an accelerated well-logging schedule, risk management of storage wells, additional PHMSA audits and inspections, and well remediation costs.

With our continued commitment to protect our workers and local communities, we strive to manage the risk and probability of a serious asset-related incident. With a goal to mitigate risks, we developed a detailed set of internal safety procedures specific to pipeline design, construction, operation, and maintenance. Through these pipeline lifecycle phases, we proactively integrate preventive measures to enhance the safety of our employees, contractors, and community members.

Pipeline Lifecycle Phases

Design

During a pipeline’s design phase, we take every opportunity to embed safety practices. This process starts with extensively evaluating applicable federal, state, and local regulations and then adapting the design components and procedures to meet those regulations. When designing, we also ensure the pipeline and its supporting infrastructure are consistent with industry standards and best practices for asset safety, efficiency, and reliability.

Equitrans also incorporates external factors in the design phase, as the pipeline itself is not our sole focus. We proactively optimize a pipeline’s route to avoid, wherever possible, sensitive environmental and cultural areas, as well as unforeseen impacts to local communities.

Construction

Throughout a pipeline’s construction, it is critical that we make every effort to confirm the pipeline is properly constructed and installed in accordance with our high compliance standards. To do this, we inspect all activities both during construction and upon completion to verify the safety and integrity of the pipeline and to ensure proper installation procedures were utilized. One crucial aspect of this inspection process is the examination of welds to confirm their integrity before the pipeline is placed into service.

Lastly, before a pipeline is approved and placed into service, we extensively assess the asset to confirm its fitness for service. We test the pipeline by using regulatorily accepted integrity checks prior to the introduction of gas, including hydrostatic pressure tests and pipe geometry inspections (e.g., pigging) to check for dents and ovality. When applicable, cathodic protection and voltage gradient surveys are also utilized to confirm the effectiveness of corrosion protection systems.

 

Operations

Equitrans’ priority is maintaining a pipeline's safety and functionality throughout its entire operation. To ensure this, we monitor pipelines and supporting assets during operation to detect any shifting or potential disturbances. Employees in our state-of-the-art Gas Control Center control, monitor, and analyze the natural gas flowing through our pipelines 24 hours a day, seven days a week  enabling us to quickly identify and respond to any potential issues that may arise and resolve those issues as quickly and as safely as possible.

Equitrans mitigates the risk of pipeline corrosion through industry-standard cathodic protection system maintenance, which applies impressed electrical current to the pipeline to inhibit corrosion. This is accomplished by installing sacrificial anodes and ground beds along the pipeline route, which are designed to corrode at known rates, in lieu of corroding the pipeline. We also deploy other corrosion prevention strategies, including routine sampling to quickly identify if corrosion is occurring, as well as flow controls to limit excessive gas velocities within the pipeline, which can often erode the pipe.

Our landslide management program outlines landslide inspection frequency and response time following weather-related events. These guidelines help to ensure that pipeline integrity concerns are discovered and addressed in a timely manner. In addition, Equitrans’ engineering team monitors rainfall data and freeze/thaw cycles in our operating areas to ensure adequate pipeline inspections are conducted to determine the impact of known landslides on our pipeline systems. Semi-annually, Equitrans conducts light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data collection on the majority of our pipeline systems to detect any new slides that may have occurred on the pipeline rights-of-way (ROWs). Additionally, for any pipeline suspected to have been subject to movement, we perform a strain analysis and develop a monitoring plan, which may include baseline surveys, staking, and subsequent drone monitoring to track any pipe shifting.

Another important strategy we leverage to evaluate pipeline safety is maintenance of the pipeline ROW. Along with routine, on-the-ground safety inspections, it is important to keep the ROW open and clear to easily conduct aerial safety patrols using helicopters and drones. When our Gas Control Center or inspections teams identify a safety or maintenance concern, we act swiftly to remediate it. Our internal operations and maintenance program teams work together to promptly mitigate and resolve any issues to ensure the integrity and longevity of our operational assets.

 

Integrity Management

The preparation for and mitigation of a potential pipeline issue are vital to ensuring safe operations. Equitrans’ compliance, corrosion, and technical training teams within the pipeline integrity department, as well as the field operations department, share the responsibility of managing pipeline integrity. These teams evaluate and maintain standard operating policies, procedures, and pipeline construction records. The pipeline integrity and field operations departments oversee the operator qualification program and other relevant trainings for employees and contractors. Equitrans’ pipeline integrity trainings empower workers to identify and mitigate potential integrity risks.

Additionally, the teams utilize industry-accepted formulas on pipeline characteristics to identify high-consequence areas that have the potential to affect local populations, buildings, and land near the pipeline route. The teams also use a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based risk model to implement strategies to improve the health of the system. Equitrans’ pipeline integrity department also evaluates corrosion, participates in government audits, performs internal audits, and reviews pressure tests when applicable.

As an example of actions taken to mitigate integrity concerns, Equitrans has remediated all known bare steel transmission pipelines with coated steel pipelines to increase integrity and reduce incident risks. Coated steel has a protective outer layer which makes the pipe more durable, while also requiring less maintenance and increasing cost effectiveness over the long term.

Pipeline Security

Ensuring the safety and integrity of our pipelines also requires that we stay informed of security-related risks and act diligently to reduce these risks and any potential dangers. We safeguard our assets through meticulous security planning and on-site strategies including fences, building locks, electronic monitoring, and continuous surveillance. For more information, see the Security and Cybersecurity section of this report.

Slip Prevention Plan

Slips occur when land shifts from a stable to an unstable condition, which could potentially affect the integrity of our pipe. An unstable condition is caused by environmental disturbances, such as soil erosion or excessive rainfall or snowmelt, which loosen the soil either underground or on top of our pipelines. Prior to commencing construction, Equitrans analyzes the proposed pipeline site with ground and aerial surveys, historical landslide mapping, and soil maps to identify landslide-prone soils. These measures help minimize the risk of slippage and environment disturbance. 

Once in the operational phase, we utilize ground surveys, drones, GIS, in-line strain identification, and data analysis to monitor soil movement and identify pipeline slips. Equitrans’ engineering team also identifies areas where slip risks may occur along our pipelines and notifies our compliance and operations teams of the risk severity. If a site is determined to have a high risk of slippage, our engineering team will conduct on-site surveys and, when necessary, implement measures to ensure our pipelines remain stable. In addition to directly monitoring areas of concern, our compliance team conducts aerial surveys bi-annually.

Infographic showing the steps involved with identifying risks, evaluating the data associated with the identified risk, and prioritizing the actions that should be taken to mitigate the risk. The chart shows Identification, Evaluation, and Prioritization, on the x-axis, and Compliance, Engineering, System, Field Operations, and Construction, on the y-axis.

 

Storage Well Safety and Integrity

To fulfill regulatory obligations, Equitrans conducts annual audits and inspections required by PHMSA and state pipeline safety agencies. In recent years, PHMSA has conducted focused audits related to the integrity management programs for underground natural gas storage, due to prior industry incidents. These intense and detailed audits emphasize both the public safety component and the potential environmental impact of methane releases. Under PHMSA’s direction, Equitrans conducted numerous storage audits to gauge the strength of our Storage Integrity Management Plan (SIMP) and its adherence to the federally published code. The integrity team addressed all the action items to improve the SIMP, and instituted the following enhancements to our storage operations:

  • Updated the frequency of well surveillance logging from every 15 years to every seven years to mitigate incident risks
  • Utilized Remote Terminal Units on storage wells to allow 24-hour monitoring through our Gas Control Center
  • Developed and implemented storage-specific procedures to standardize storage maintenance and operations activities
  • Provided dedicated personnel trained specifically for storage operations
 

Rager Mountain Storage Facility Incident

Operating as a storage pool since 1971, Equitrans’ Rager Mountain facility is a FERC-certificated and -regulated storage field located in Jackson Township, a remote area of Cambria County, PA. The Rager storage field has a total capacity of approximately 11,600 MMcf of natural gas, making it Equitrans’ largest-capacity storage field. The facility includes two observation wells, along with 10 injection and withdrawal wells that are connected by pipelines to the Allegheny Valley Connector interstate pipeline system via the Laurel Ridge and Rager Mountain facilities. 

On November 6, 2022, an incident occurred at our Rager Mountain facility that involved natural gas escaping from a 1 5/8 vent on a single storage well (well 2244), which was working as designed to relieve pressure from the casing. There were no injuries reported, no mandatory evacuations of nearby property owners, and no immediate public safety concerns. As a result of the incident, all physical flows of natural gas in and out of the Rager Mountain Storage facility were temporarily suspended. Equitrans worked with a specialty well services company to address and resolve the venting, and the flow of gas was stopped on November 19, 2022.

Immediately following the plugging of storage well 2244, post-incident response activities were initiated, including a complete environmental assessment of the facility and surrounding area, as well as a standard five-day shut-in test on all storage wells at Rager Mountain to estimate the total change in inventory at the Rager storage reservoir. Based on a comparison to the standard shut-in test performed in April 2022, the results of the inventory verification test indicated the Rager storage inventory was reduced by an estimate of approximately 1.29 Bcf. Equitrans continues to evaluate whether and to what extent all of the inventory loss was due to venting or whether some was due to potential migration.

In coordination with PHMSA an independent, full root cause investigation is underway and is expected to be complete in summer 2023. In addition to the root cause investigation, Equitrans is collectively evaluating all wells at the Rager storage field, including performing wireline testing and other additional tests to ensure the integrity of the wells prior to resuming injection activities.

More broadly, Equitrans is evaluating its policies and procedures in light of regulatory requirements and best practices; conducting a third-party audit of all Equitrans storage field operations; and, based on historical data, performing additional wireline testing on wells throughout the Company’s storage field operations.

As part of ongoing post-incident response activities, Equitrans will continue to inform the respective state and federal agencies of its activities and findings, including as it works to return the field to injection operations. Additional information regarding the Rager Mountain incident can be found in the GHG Emissions and Climate Change and the Public Safety and Emergency Response sections of this report.

Managing Releases

Our mitigation procedures and measurements are designed to ensure safety in the event of a spill or leak related to one of our assets. If a leak is detected on an asset, we work diligently to detect the location of the leak, take immediate action to make repairs, and quickly remediate any damage. Our teams conduct regular inspections of our pipelines to ensure their integrity. In 2022, approximately 12% of our natural gas transmission pipelines were inspected per 49 CFR 192 Subpart O requirements for High Consequence Areas (HCA). Furthermore, Equitrans routinely inspects additional miles of non-jurisdictional pipelines, which are not regulated by the DOT. If any areas of concern are identified during inspections, we take immediate action to maintain the integrity of the asset and ensure regulatory compliance.

Equitrans regularly evaluates our processes and strives to limit operational leaks and releases. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we learn from past projects to better mitigate the risk of future leaks. We track all leaks and releases and gather data for each of our compressor stations, storage wells, and pipelines. Our operations team periodically reviews our data to identify any trends or long-term concerns that may require technical solutions from our engineering team and also works to implement proactive solutions for mitigating or avoiding future impacts. This process involves a proactive and regimented aerial and foot patrol program following U.S. DOT guidelines.

As an additional means of responsibility and transparency, our Notices of Violation (NOV) Tracker provides public disclosure of Equitrans’ formal notices of non-compliance and violations.

When an incident occurs, Equitrans properly reports all releases in line with state and federal regulations. The following table summarizes our reported natural gas incidents for 2019-2022. The significant increase in year-over-year data for our 2022 reportable releases is primarily related to the Rager Mountain Storage facility incident, described in detail above in the ‘Storage Well Safety and Integrity’ sub-section.

Natural Gas Incidents1

2019

2020

2021

20222

Number of Reportable Incidents3

2

0

0

2

Volume of Reportable Releases (MCF)3

19,900

0

0

1,300,000

Percentage Reportable Incidents That Were Significant4

0%

0%

0%

100%

1) Includes 100% of the Eureka Midstream assets; excludes MVP and MVP Southgate projects

2) Includes data related to the one-time incident related to Rager Mountain in November 2022, the investigation of which is ongoing as of the publication of this report, and, for conservatism, assumes the potential venting of approximately 1.29 Bcf of natural gas, based solely on an initial inventory reduction test

3) Reportable incidents and releases are defined based on the Department of Transportation requirements in 49 CFR 191.3

4) Based on SASB definition, an incident is considered significant if it resulted in: fatality or injury requiring in-patient hospitalization; $50,000 or more in total costs, measured in 1984 U.S. dollars; highly volatile liquid releases of 5 bbls or more or other liquid releases of 50 barrels or more; or liquid releases resulting in an unintentional fire or explosion

Managing Compliance

In alignment with our commitment to meet or exceed compliance regulations, it is our goal to always be transparent when interacting with local, state, and federal authorities. We routinely track and evaluate all emerging and changing regulations and permit requirements that may impact Equitrans’ business and operations. Where appropriate, we actively submit comments based on our evaluations of proposed regulations, either as a Company or through the industry trade groups of which we are members.

Equitrans believes it is equally important to be transparent when we do not live up to our expectations and, especially so, when we fall short of federal, state, or local requirements for asset safety and integrity and/or environmental compliance. We take our responsibility seriously and respond to all agency notifications, keeping record of our due diligence and maintaining our commitment to compliance. As an additional means of responsibility and transparency, we implemented a Notices of Violation (NOV) Tracker to publicly disclose Equitrans’ formal notices of non-compliance and violations. The tracker, which is routinely updated and published on the Sustainability page of our website, summarizes our compliance data and acts as an accountability measure. Types of enforcement actions include NOVs, Notices of Amendment (NOAs), Notices of Proposed Safety Order, and warning letters from state utility commissions and PHMSA. Environmental NOV information can be found in the Environmental Compliance section of this report.

Equitrans routinely tracks and evaluates all emerging and changing regulations and permit requirements that may impact our business and operations.

It is important to note that all agency audits are not equal and can range in duration from a few days to several weeks  with operators potentially receiving multiple citations in a single audit, depending upon the type of deficiencies identified. Additionally, as newly implemented regulations continue to mature, it is not uncommon to receive citations of lesser severity (i.e., warning letters or NOAs). These types of enforcement are typically non-punitive in nature and are utilized by the agencies to create awareness and provide an opportunity for the operator to update policies, plans, and procedures to more accurately align with regulations.

As shown in the table below, there has been a steady increase in the number of scheduled audits, which has a direct correlation to the increase in enforcement actions. The post-audit interaction between agencies and operators is also changing. The process now includes formal documentation of written findings and improvement opportunities prior to the issuance of an enforcement action. Equitrans strives to achieve zero enforcement actions by any agency, but welcomes these opportunities for continuous improvement. As of the publishing of this report, the final enforcement actions, and any associated penalties, related to the Rager Mountain Storage facility incident have not concluded.

Asset Safety Actions1

2019

2020

2021

2022

Scheduled Agency Audits

4

9

18

12

Enforcement Actions

0

2

3

7

Penalties Paid Associated With Enforcement Actions

$0

$0

$0

$0

Total Monetary Losses From Legal Proceedings Associated With Federal Pipeline and Storage Regulations

$0

$0

 $0 $0

1) Includes 100% of the Eureka Midstream assets; excludes MVP and MVP Southgate projects

Maintaining Asset Safety and Integrity

 

Equitrans utilizes a range of risk mitigation strategies as part of our asset management and operations. In addition to strict adherence to all federal regulations, we require that non-destructive testing (NDT), such as x-rays or ultrasonic, be performed on all pipeline welds to ensure they meet industry requirements for acceptability. On large projects, we hire NDT auditors as supplemental oversight for additional review and verification. Every welder performing work on our pipelines must hold an Equitrans Welder Certification to ensure their welding follows our procedures and best practices. Prior to being placed in-service, completed pipelines are hydrostatically tested significantly above the normal operating pressure to ensure the integrity of all components. Data logging software is utilized to record critical data points during testing, and this information is reviewed by our engineering team to verify that testing meets all specifications and requirements. Specific to our storage facilities, Equitrans has installed electronic, remote monitoring devices that enhance our real-time data gathering capabilities by sending data to our operational control systems every three to five minutes.

During 2022, Equitrans continued to evaluate and implement the requirements of PHMSA’s Mega Rule, which was designed to improve pipeline safety and better prepare emergency responders for incidents.

Importantly, our inspectors verify that our pipeline construction contractors have qualified workers who follow our Design and Construction Manual and other procedures. While many of our inspectors possess industry-recognized certifications for their crafts, Equitrans’ inspectors are required to complete in-house training on Equitrans’ specifications to ensure pipeline construction meets both Company and federal government standards. These training modules educate inspectors on Equitrans’ best practices and required procedures for pipeline inspections. In addition, inspectors are routinely audited in the field to ensure projects are being completed following Company and applicable regulatory requirements.

During 2022, Equitrans continued to evaluate the requirements of PHMSA’s Mega Rule and began to incorporate changes in inspections, along with other actions, to prepare for the additional provisions outlined in the Rule. Through three main elements, the Mega Rule was designed to improve pipeline safety and better prepare emergency responders for incidents by:

  • Intensifying risk assessment and maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) requirements
  • Expanding regulations to include gathering lines and other previously non-regulated lines
  • Increasing reporting requirements and safety regulations

Equitrans’ initial actions included enhancing and updating the language of various plans and processes, such as SOPs, O&M plans, and job plans, to better align and comply with the requirements of the new regulation. Additionally, to comply with specific sections of the Mega Rule, namely the MAOP verification of grandfathered pipe, we undertook supplemental measures to perform investigative research of records and to obtain the metallurgical composition of pipe while conducting confirmation digs. At Equitrans, compliance is just a start, and, while many of our plans and programs were already closely aligned with the new provisions, we expect to implement further actions to comply with the Mega Rule during 2023.

Highlight Stories

Enhancing Methane Monitoring

In January 2023, Equitrans announced its status as a founding member of the newly formed Appalachian Methane Initiative (AMI), a coalition of regional natural gas operators committed to further enhancing methane monitoring throughout the Appalachia Basin and facilitating additional methane emissions reduction in the region. The AMI coalition was formed for the purpose of establishing and effectuating a methane monitoring, reporting, and mitigation network throughout the geographic area known as the Appalachian Basin.’

AMI’s efforts are intended to promote greater efficiency in the identification and remedy of potential fugitive methane emissions from operations in the Appalachian Basin through coordinated satellite and aerial surveys on a geographic-basis as opposed to an operator-specific basis and taking into account advanced methane monitoring and reporting frameworks. Additionally, the coalition will seek to coordinate and share best practices in mitigating methane emissions from natural gas operations, including production and midstream, and collaborate on activities and monitor results through transparent, publicly available reporting. 

For much of 2023, AMI is focusing on developing and implementing a pilot monitoring program to cover select areas of interest within the Basin’s major operating footprints, with the goal of working to develop and implement a full-Basin monitoring plan in 2024.

As part of AMI’s official launch, a news release was issued by the coalition’s founding members. We believe our membership in AMI will support our ongoing methane reduction efforts and complement our many ESG initiatives, and we look forward to working with other coalition members on advancing AMI’s initiatives.

Our Bees Are All The Buzzzzz

At Equitrans, there is a clear tone that begins at the top — sustainability is critically important to the world we live in and is also essential to the future growth of our Company. In 2023, E-Train celebrated Earth Day with the kickoff of a two-year sustainability partnership with Alvéole. Alvéole focuses on bee-friendly communities for greener cities by installing honey bee hives at business locations across the world to foster environmental awareness and educate communities on the importance of creating sustainable bee populations. In fact, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, honey bees help to produce one-third of our food supply by pollinating $15 billion worth of crops in the U.S. each year, including more than 130 types of fruits, nuts, and vegetables. 

Through our new partnership with Alvéole, E-Train is hosting and supporting two honey bee hives at each of our Canonsburg, St. Clairsville, and Waynesburg offices. The hives were installed in late spring, and the bees have begun to collect nectar and pollinate thousands of flowers and plants. With the help of our assigned Alvéole beekeeper, the hives will become established, and the bees will re-emerge every spring to pollinate flora to grow food and produce E-Train’s own locally sourced honey.

Equitrans and Alvéole also established “MyHive” microsites for each of E-Train’s office locations. The MyHive sites are located on Equitrans’ intranet, and employees can access the sites at any time to find educational honey bee information and receive updates on our hives. As an added benefit, Alvéole beekeepers will conduct various on-site informational events for employees, such as beeswax candle making and honey extraction sessions. 

As we continue to safely and responsibly operate our network of natural gas pipelines, water lines, and compressor stations, it’s important to remember that the decisions we make today have a lasting and positive impact on future generations. On Earth Day and every day, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard by embracing our responsibility to operate in a manner that minimizes impacts on our natural resources and — above all else — we must keep safety our top priority, always.

Renewable Electricity and Scope 2 Emissions

With the publication of the Company’s Climate Policy in 2021, Equitrans established targets that include a 50% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 methane emissions by 2030 and a 50% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040. Since this time, Equitrans has aggressively focused on reducing its direct Scope 1 emissions, which included the replacement of pneumatic devices and the installation of vent gas recovery units during 2022. These activities are expected to directly contribute to a reduction in methane emissions from operations. Additional information and details on the Company’s reduction efforts can be found in the GHG Emissions and Climate Change section of this report.

Equitrans is also working to reduce its indirect Scope 2 emissions, which are emissions related to purchased utilities, such as electric generation and heat. One method of aiding in the overall reduction of indirect Scope 2 emissions is through the purchase of certified renewable energy credits or RECs. Each REC is a certificate that corresponds to the environmental attributes of electricity that is generated from a zero-emissions renewable source and delivered to the electricity grid.

For the year-ended 2022, Equitrans purchased and retired 35,000 Green-e Energy certified RECs for its operations. These purchased RECs represent 35,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of generated renewable energy, which in this case was from wind energy generated in Oklahoma and delivered to the corresponding regional electric grid. By purchasing and retiring these RECs, Equitrans is taking credit for the renewable energy generated and ensuring that it is not accounted for elsewhere in the country. By purchasing these certified RECs, Equitrans was able to account for 100% of its purchased electricity through the supply of zero-carbon renewable energy, as related to its indirect Scope 2 GHG emissions.  

Employee Generosity — Giving Back To Our Communities

Equitrans Midstream is committed to making a difference in our communities, and the United Way is just one way we can join together to support those in need. For our 2022 campaign, we selected the United Way of Washington County as our primary United Way affiliate, which aligns with our Company headquarters’ location. Employees also had the opportunity to donate to the United Way of their choice by selecting from other United Way affiliates located in our primary operating states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia.

To jump start our 2022 United Way campaign, we held a basket raffle during our all-employee meeting and holiday celebration in Morgantown, WV. Employee teams donated 27 individual baskets, with raffle ticket sales raising more than $11,000 in donations. This was matched dollar-for-dollar by our Corporate Local Giving Program, jump-starting our 2022 campaign with a contribution of more than $22,000 to the United Way.

Through our official United Way campaign, which is conducted annually via individual, online donations, Equitrans employees pledged roughly $57,000 in individual contributions, which was matched dollar-for-dollar through the Equitrans Midstream Foundation for a total of approximately $114,000. Additional donations were made outside of our formal campaign, and, based on totals provided by the United Way of Washington County — Equitrans’ contributions totaled more than $169,000 in 2022 — making us the top contributor in their Chairman’s Award for Top 5 Workplace Giving Campaign Partners program.

Equitrans also received the agency’s Campaign Excellence Award, which is presented to a workplace giving campaign partner that puts forth extra effort in running their annual workplace giving campaign. In addition to our traditional campaign, this award was due in part to the hosting of our special to basket raffle event, which engaged all employees and included matching funds by the Equitrans Midstream Foundation and the Company’s Corporate Local Giving Program.

The United Way of Washington County’s mission is to unite people, resources, and organization to improve lives in Washington County. Through Equitrans’ support, the various programs at United Way will be funded to serve the most pressing needs in vulnerable populations within our local operating areas. Our donation is a powerful force for change, and we thank our employees for their generosity and support!

Inspiring the World to Reuse

As we broaden our sustainability investments, we are especially proud of our partnership with Fill It Forward, an organization whose mission is “to inspire the world to reuse” by focusing on the elimination of single-use waste, such as plastic bottles and bags. In 2021, Equitrans partnered with Fill it Forward as a means of engaging and educating employees, while at the same time elevating our many ESG (environmental, social, and governance) initiatives.

In late 2021, we launched our Fill It Forward campaign with a custom holiday gift box for employees that included reusable tote bags and bottles with individual ‘scan tags’ that acted as a re-use tracker. When the tags were scanned, the data was automatically uploaded to Equitrans’ custom group on the Fill It Forward app and was used for tracking our collective impact, such as waste diverted, emissions saved, and how much ocean pollution was prevented.

Along with helping to eliminate waste, there was a charitable component to our Fill It Forward campaign. Each employee scan unlocked a $1 donation for every reuse, which contributed funds to our chosen charitable organization — DigDeep’s Appalachia Water Project. The funds collected were used to provide clean drinking water through the installation of meter-to-home water lines for families in southern West Virginia who currently have unsafe, limited, or no water at all. Our goal was to generate 10,000 scans and raise $10,000 for the Appalachia Water Project, and we were thrilled to have reached our goal roughly six months into the campaign. In addition, as part of Equitrans’ annual holiday giving initiatives, we made a separate donation of $20,000 to the Appalachia Water Project.

Thanks to the efforts of our employees — Equitrans was the proud recipient of Fill It Forward’s Changemaker Award for 2022. This unique ESG-focused campaign was a means of engaging and educating employees, while also elevating our sustainability efforts. Together with Fill It Forward, we believe that the simple act of reusing is the first step towards creating a sustainable mindset for all generations — and as an added benefit — being able to connect families with access to safe water will ensure the health and success of communities for years to come.

Equitrans Midstream’s Impact
 
19,968.42
lbs of emissions saved

 
617.58
lbs of waste diverted from landfill

 
11,734.02
kwH of power saved

 
123.52
lbs of ocean pollution prevented
20,586
total reuses

Source: Statistics calculated by Fill It Forward, as of year-end 2022

Proactive Project Outreach

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.  

Productivity Redesigned

As the world continues to adapt and evolve, companies are re-evaluating their management approach and taking into consideration the individual needs and circumstances of their employees to create work-life harmonization. With the implementation of person-centric leadership practices, Equitrans took the opportunity to redesign how we operate, improving performance and engagement and increasing our ability to compete for talent.

In early 2020, Equitrans began to recognize the benefits of a flexible workplace model. We initiated a deeper dive into the concept by soliciting survey feedback from office-based employees regarding their preferred ‘workplace persona’ preferences (anchor, flex, and remote). Today, we have fully embraced a ‘person-centric’ work environment, which takes into account the physical, cognitive, and emotional needs of employees and encourages them to find the best integration between their work and personal lives. With this approach, work is no longer about where an employee is located, but about the actual work an employee does. Importantly, employees are evaluated on work produced, without consideration to where or how they worked.

Rather than conforming to legacy practices or location constraints, Equitrans’ person-centric work model is defined by flexible work experiences, intentional collaboration, and empathy-based management. For our field-based employees, who are primarily required to work onsite, we rolled out flexible work guidelines to demonstrate our commitment to our person-centric work approach. Upon implementation of this new work model, roughly 44% of employees are working remotely, 25% split their time between working remotely and at an Equitrans location, 31% work from an Equitrans location full-time, and less than 1% work part-time.

We expect our person-centric model will continue to improve employees’ satisfaction and retention, as well as help to expand our talent pool. Since implementing our workplace personas, the number of employees working in other U.S. locations has increased, and we have been able to improve gender diversity. As part of our new work model, we periodically conduct employee surveys and focus groups to obtain feedback, using the results to adjust our workplace practices, as needed.

Office-Centric vs Person-Centric Work Design
Office-Centric Person-Centric

Provide consistent work experiences to deliver equality of experience

Provide flexible work experiences to deliver equality of opportunity

Enable serendipitous collaboration to deliver innovation by chance

Enable intentional collaboration to deliver innovation by design

Drive visibility-based management to deliver performance by inputs

Drive empathy-based management to deliver performance by outcome

Managing and Protecting Pipeline Integrity

Identification and management of landslide risk is a vital aspect of Equitrans’ daily work activities; however, the risk of a landslide is not limited to the midstream industry. Landslides can occur in any type of terrain, including both hills and valleys, and can be associated with any type of ongoing construction or pre-existing land disturbance. Natural factors such as rainfall and surface runoff water can amplify their frequency or severity; and left unmanaged, landslides have the potential to impact our environment. For Equitrans, this impact may include creating unnecessary strain on our underground pipelines, which are typically located in a variety of terrains as compared to our non-linear assets. To avoid unsafe situations and protect the integrity of our pipeline network, our engineering team uses a multi-faceted approach to aggressively identify and manage areas at risk for potential landslides. 

To identify potential land movement near our assets, Equitrans’ engineers utilize aerial patrols, drones with photogrammetry change detection, and routine on-site inspections — or, if required, a combination of these methods may be used. In each case, we monitor our pipeline rights-of-way looking for any indication of unstable soil, such as discoloration, downed trees, or other data that could indicate a change in topography. Following a thorough evaluation of each asset location or suspected slide area by our engineering and compliance teams, we assign a priority ranking to indicate the potential for further movement and any risk to the environment or to the integrity of the pipeline.

As a final step, Equitrans pairs the geographic location data of known and suspected landslides with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) information. This analysis is done on a daily basis and allows Equitrans to identify rainfall events that could affect the stability of existing slide-prone areas and to rapidly respond and investigate when conditions change on the ground. In accordance with a defined framework that accounts for slide priority and rain severity, personnel may be deployed to conduct visual, on-site inspections. Beyond rainfall data, we also monitor temperature data to understand freeze thaw cycles and similarly deploy personnel to evaluate sites under changing conditions. Through continued use of these evaluation tools — aerial inspections, drone imaging, and manual site inspections — Equitrans remains committed to environmental and operational safety through its robust process to identify and manage potential landslides.

In addition, Equitrans launched a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) pilot program in 2020 to aid in the enhanced detection of potential landslides along our pipeline rights-of-way. Today, we conduct semi-annual LiDAR flights across thousands of miles of pipeline. The adoption of LiDAR technology and utilization of our enhanced construction standards are collectively designed to improve Equitrans’ ability to mitigate landslide risk for the safety of our employees and communities, and for the benefit of our customers, investors, and the environment. 

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