Governance

Security and Cybersecurity

To ensure safety and business continuity, Equitrans recognizes the importance of security, particularly for our pipeline assets, compressor facilities, and project sites. In addition, cybersecurity is a core component of Equitrans’ digital transformation, and our cyber philosophy begins, but does not end, with compliance. We build our capabilities based on relevant industry standards and continually review our progress to effectively enhance our cybersecurity capabilities.

Four Equitrans employees in an office are monitoring their computers to ensure operations are secure.

Elevating Our Security and Cybersecurity Protocols

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Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary

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Formal training on safety and security practices

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Equitrans recognizes the critical importance of safeguarding our physical infrastructure assets and securing our informational resources and intellectual property. Today, more than ever, there are growing concerns related to the ability of an organization to protect its critical technology assets, requiring companies to display incredible resilience in an ever-changing world.

Our Approach to Physical Security

From both a safety and business continuity perspective, it is crucial that we utilize stringent security measures for our pipeline assets, compressor facilities, and project sites. Trespassing and vandalism by those opposed to the fossil fuel industry can damage or destroy assets; create safety risks and hazards for our employees, contractors, and communities; and impact our ability to deliver natural gas to our customers. The disruption of natural gas delivery for our customers can impact consumers, businesses, and manufacturing facilities.

Equitrans works closely with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ensure our enterprise abides by all federal security regulations, and we continually optimize our security strategies and plans. Our Security Team implements a wide range of security measures including:

  • Site Support: In the event of an emergency or physical security threat, our Security Team supports site work by providing employees field encampment equipment, such as shelter, food, water, and portable bathroom facilities.
  • Mobile Surveillance: Our Security Team oversees potential security threats by monitoring mobile surveillance, including security cameras and drones. When our Security Team detects a threat, team members evaluate potential risks, or the extent of the incident, and deploys proper mitigation strategies.
  • Physical Security: We use barriers and other physical security measures, such as locks, fencing, and barbed wire, to prevent facility tampering and trespassing.
  • Security Personnel: The Security Team deploys static and roving security guards to provide physical security at our critical sites and in areas where they detect security threats. The Security Team also works with local law enforcement to protect sites and respond to threats.
  • Drone Support: Our Security Team trains and licenses drone pilots. In addition to aerial security surveillance, our drone teams support operational needs, such as land surveys and data gathering.

Security Training

Security guards are stationed 24 hours/day, seven days a week at our headquarters office in Canonsburg, PA, and are also routinely scheduled at various compressor station facilities and project sites, including along the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project route. Our operations team determines the criticality of a site by analyzing the level of risk for disruption and the potential impacts on our local communities, on-site employees, contractors, equipment, and capacity throughput. Equitrans contracts all security guards from a third-party security vendor. We provide all of our security team members and third-party security personnel with formal security training and information on our security standards. Our training program includes the following concepts:

  • Pipeline Security: How to protect our pipelines from trespassing, physical threats, and disruptions.
  • Law Enforcement: How and when to involve law enforcement agencies.
  • Crisis Events: How to respond to a crisis or emergency on or near a project site.
  • Field Sabotage: How to detect sabotage efforts that could affect pipeline integrity.

Prior to starting work at any site, security guards are required to attend a comprehensive security training session to identify and be familiar with any site-specific hazards or risks.

100% of our security personnel receive formal training on Equitrans’ safety and security practices. 

We also train guards on the legal requirements and technical use of body cameras, as well as techniques for effective and safe protest management. At our operational facilities, our security guards increase overall safety and minimize the risk of serious incidents by providing direct oversight and immediate response to potential incidents involving opponents. In the event of a dangerous incident, Equitrans’ security team works to safely evacuate work crews and initiates assistance from law enforcement, if needed.

An Equitrans includes security features such as fencing and security cameras.

Pipeline and Operations Security

The security of our pipelines and facilities is integral to national and economic security and the success of our operations. Ensuring we are safeguarding our assets also reduces risks of environmental incidents and potential safety hazards. For pipelines and compressor stations that are in operation, Equitrans continuously gathers information regarding their security. We protect our assets with fences, building locks, electronic monitoring, and 24/7 surveillance at many of our sites.

At construction sites, we deploy various levels of security, depending on their criticality and vulnerability. For critical sites, we secure pipe storage yards and worksites with 24/7 security guards or advanced analytic camera systems. At sites where an increased threat may exist, we employ both security guards and camera systems simultaneously.

The majority of our pipeline construction projects require us to hire guards during non-work hours and Equitrans’ Security Team oversees the security at all construction sites. If theft, vandalism, or other threats are encountered, a combination of roving and static guards along with varying levels of camera coverage will be employed to secure the site. For projects that encounter hostile persons or opposition during construction, we assign security teams to protect workers during the day and static guards to protect equipment during non-work hours. As an example, the Mountain Valley Pipeline project contracted more than 85 roving and/or static guards to protect workers, equipment, materials, and construction sites. If we encounter a hostile person or group during construction, we contact the appropriate law enforcement groups and implement security and static guards to ensure our workers and equipment are safe.

Security guards also protect compressor stations and various other sites based upon criticality and vulnerability; and barbed wire fencing and access controls, along with high-resolution analytical camera systems, are used when and where deemed necessary. Other sites such as interconnections and metering stations incorporate fencing, cameras, or both, depending on the perceived threat to the specific location.

Our security guards receive safety and security training from their employers. The type of training depends on the location they are operating in and the conditions on the ground. In high-risk areas, some guards have received body camera instruction and executive protection training. In 2021, security guards received updated training on trespassing and specific instructions for protecting Company vehicles stored in Company parking lots. In early 2022, we implemented Standard Operating Procedures to deploy drone aircraft for safety overwatch in contentious areas. This new feature to our security program is expected to result in cost savings and enhance our ability to collect information rapidly.

Office Security

Equitrans uses physical security measures in our offices to protect our employees, information technology infrastructure, and other assets. We use gates, trespassing signs, and motion-activated cameras to deter unauthorized persons from entering our offices. We implemented an anti-tailgating system at the entrances of our headquarters office in Canonsburg, PA that signals an alarm when two people walk into the office together when using only a single employee badge. The headquarters office security personnel are CPR and AED certified, and are trained to assist emergency medical service responders by quickly escorting them through building security. We continue to evaluate emerging risks and explore new ways to ensure the safety and security of all our offices.

Evaluating Our Physical Security

Equitrans’ security program is intended to reduce the risk of both major and minor incidents, and our security team works diligently to ensure all aspects of our enterprise are safe. For the safety and security of our employees, we recently implemented an overseas travel process that assesses U.S. State Department information and provides travel safety guidance for specific destinations. We track regional, national, and global protests utilizing the Welund database. The HSSE Committee of the Board oversees our approach to physical security.

In 2021, we partnered with the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) and began to voluntarily standardize our security measures to better align with emerging federal security expectations and regulations. Equitrans is always looking for new ways to improve our security and protect our customers and communities, including consistent monitoring of our systems for vulnerabilities and efforts to mitigate any risks.

Equitrans employees are working at their desks in the office while another group is meeting in the conference room.

Our Approach to Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is at the core of our information technology (IT) strategy, the activities of which are managed by our Chief Information Officer, with assistance from employees and contractors in our IT department. We understand the importance of cybersecurity as it relates to our role in providing critical infrastructure for our nation’s economy and national security. Our cybersecurity program is designed to:

  • Establish situational awareness of evolving threats and vulnerabilities to our technology presence
  • Proactively detect and respond to cyber-attacks, minimizing adverse impacts to business operations
  • Leverage technology to achieve business objectives securely and efficiently

As a core design principle, Equitrans’ cybersecurity philosophy incorporates security requirements into our architecture, processes, and solutions. To validate the effectiveness of our approach, we measure our capabilities and practices against the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, relevant industry standards, and government regulations. In addition, we routinely engage independent third-party security firms to exercise and assess our cybersecurity capabilities.

As essential components of our technology strategy, we appreciate that cloud and internet services continue to transform the technology landscape. Embracing cloud and internet technologies has improved our resilience and demonstrated performance improvements, while also ensuring enhanced security controls and visibility. We have integrated our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing (IaaS, PaaS) implementations into our security operations center (SOC) to provide consistent and holistic security visibility and readiness. To enable our cloud approach, Equitrans built a modern high-performance network to provide secure and resilient connectivity between Internet and cloud services and our field locations.

Informed by our Enterprise Risk Management Program, we utilize risk-based analysis in decision-making to determine actions and priorities for our cybersecurity program.

Cybersecurity Program

Equitrans practices proper cyber hygiene through rigorous identity access management, vulnerability management, and asset management programs. These programs reduce the attack surface for adversaries and ensure we are proactively managing our user accounts, systems, and devices. We also segment our informational and operational technologies, as appropriate, and leverage network micro-segmentation to further protect our critical systems and assets. This practice restricts lateral movement within our network to only necessary access, further challenging adversaries attempting to do harm.

To support our remote workforce, Equitrans utilizes a scalable, cloud-native architecture to provide secure access for mobile users from anywhere. Operationally, we continuously monitor for cyber intrusions, augmenting our internal resources and capabilities with that of third-party service providers. Multiple security technologies are employed to protect our systems, applications, and data, including next generation firewalls, strong multi-factor authentication and access controls, and endpoint detection and response solutions. These technologies combine to protect, secure, and segment Equitrans information while traversing home and public networks.

Informed by our Enterprise Risk Management Program, we utilize risk-based analysis in decision-making to determine actions and priorities for our cybersecurity program. We have strong governance through written policies and implement electronic enforcement as a monitoring tool to ensure compliance and assist in preventing undesired behaviors. Beyond our Data Privacy Policies, additional access restrictions and monitoring are in place for data related to our customers’ and landowners’ personally identifiable information (PII), and similar protections are in place for commercially sensitive data and systems. Additional protections are provided via active alerts and monitoring for data movements and with electronically enforced policies such as prohibiting USB storage devices.

Our fault tolerant, highly available architecture is an important part of our continuity plan; however, Equitrans does not solely rely on architecture to ensure continuity. To complement our architecture, we also adhere to a robust Enterprise Data Backup Policy, which includes, among other activities, routine restoration of critical data. In addition, cybersecurity is a critical element of our Crisis Management Plan, and we conduct routine cyber incident drills that include cross-functional participation by our executives, business stakeholders, and legal and security partners.

We prioritize training and cybersecurity awareness for our employees and extend this training to include our service providers and partners. The training and awareness content includes knowledge of cybersecurity policy, understanding of cyber threats, and incorporation of leading practices into their daily IT- and cyber-related activities. Equitrans employees and partners with access to our operational technology (OT) network are required to participate in additional training specific to OT interactions.

A home office station with a laptop and monitor shows a detailed rendition of pipeline equipment and operations on site.

Evaluating Our Cybersecurity

Equitrans’ IT group is actively working to comply with relevant TSA security directives. In 2021, Equitrans’ CEO participated as a member of the CEO task force for the “100-Day Sprint” — an initiative assembled by the National Security Council (NSC), in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), to improve visibility, detection and response to cyber threats. Additionally, Equitrans’ CIO is a member of the corresponding CIO task force that is responsible for executing on the 100-Day Sprint.

In an effort to expand our Company’s knowledge and understanding of the cyber-threat landscape, our CIO is also a member of the TSA Pipeline Security Directives Technical Roundtable, whose insight will help inform renewed security directives and proposed regulations; and a member of the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC) Pipeline plan team, with a directive to establish information sharing standards. Equitrans also expects to participate in the DOE’s pilot Cybersecurity Risk Information Sharing Program (CRISP) for Oil and Gas, a similar program of which is already in place for the electricity sector. The Company is currently evaluating its participation in CISA’s CyberSentry Program for real-time monitoring and collaboration.

Framework

Image credit: N.Hanacek/NIST

Equitrans’ cybersecurity program is reviewed and monitored by executive management, with oversight by our Board of Directors, and both groups routinely receive and review cybersecurity updates, assessment results, and audit findings. Our executive management and Board of Directors also receive updates on cyber-risk management throughout the year.

To ensure the effectiveness of our cybersecurity program, we routinely participate in third-party reviews to maintain and enhance the resiliency of our systems. In addition, Equitrans’ IT leadership routinely conducts risk quantification and assessment exercises to prioritize our efforts and minimize the risk of cybersecurity activity. By implementing a continuous improvement approach to cyber protection, our program remains flexible and more dynamic, allowing us to adapt to the ever-changing threats within the expanding cyber landscape. 

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Philanthropy and Volunteerism

Equitrans Midstream supports the development of a sustainable workforce, which we believe is a key element for the long-term success of our Company and our communities. Preparing local students to compete in the workforce is a funding priority of the Equitrans Midstream Foundation — connecting students now with the tools they need to make positive social and economic contributions in the future. Through our E-Train On-Track committee, we also support employee volunteerism and encourage employees to donate their time in support of community-based educational initiatives. 

The Education Partnership is a local non-profit organization that distributes school and classroom supplies at no cost to students and teachers in need. When the organization approached us with an opportunity to provide assistance and support for Pennsylvania schools, ranging from pre-K through grade 12, we enthusiastically volunteered both our funding and time. In 2021, through a $32,000 grant to The Education Partnership’s Adopt-a-School program, the Equitrans Midstream Foundation purchased essential school supplies for students in three southwestern Pennsylvania schools. Using our Volunteer Paid-Time-Off Program, these funds were amplified by Equitrans employees who volunteered their time to assemble more than 1,230 Power Tools Homework Kits for distribution to the students. A team of employees then attended assemblies at one of the participating high schools to conduct mini-educational sessions to discuss jobs and careers in the energy industry.

During the past two years, the Foundation has awarded $50,000 to The Education Partnership. By combining proposed funding opportunities with employee volunteerism, Equitrans can provide a greater level of community support, while at the same time encouraging employee involvement and increasing overall engagement. Our work with The Education Partnership is one example of Equitrans’ commitment to the communities in which we live and work — delivering positive impacts through both financial support and employee volunteerism. 

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Storage Integrity Management

To fulfill specific regulatory obligations by government agencies, Equitrans conducts annual audits and inspections required by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and respective state agencies that oversee pipelines and related facilities. To reinforce the importance of public safety, in recent years PHMSA has conducted focused audits on Storage Integrity Management programs. These very intense, detailed audits emphasize both public safety and the environmental impacts of storage methane release. Among other benefits to the industry, this level of scrutiny provides an opportunity for natural gas pipeline operators to review, improve, and strengthen their programs.

Under PHMSA’s direction, Equitrans conducted numerous storage audits from 2018 through 2021 to gauge the strength of our Storage Integrity Management Plan (SIMP) and its adherence to published code. While there were no penalties assessed as a result of these audit activities, Equitrans did receive varying degrees of citations (i.e., Letters of Concern, Warning Letters, and Notices of Amendment) that required us to update our plans, policies, and procedures to enhance our SIMP.

In addition to addressing all cited deficiencies to improve the SIMP, Equitrans instituted the following enhancements to its storage operations:

  • Mitigation of risk by increasing the frequency of well-surveillance logging to every seven years, versus the previous schedule of every 15 years
  • Utilization of Remote Terminal Units on storage wells for 24-hour monitoring by gas control
  • Development and implementation of storage-specific procedures to standardize storage maintenance and operations activities across the Company
  • Dedicating personnel trained specifically for storage operations

As with all of Equitrans’ pipeline integrity programs, our primary focus is on safety — above all else — for our communities, employees, and pipeline facilities. The continued and enhanced safe operation of our storage assets is merely an extension of Equitrans’ overall commitment to safety.

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Workplace Modernization

Recognizing the potential benefits of a flexible work model, Equitrans conducted a workplace modernization survey in June 2020, whereby office-based employees were asked to rank their workplace preferences based on a set of three “workplace personas” (anchor, flex, and remote). The next step in the process was for managers to review all positions in their departments and assign a workplace persona, or personas, to each position, based on the defined requirements of role. The final step was for employees to select their workplace persona based on the persona(s) assigned to their role.

Our workplace modernization activities, however, did not end there. As we and other companies prepared for the new normal of a larger remote workforce, E-Train recognized there would be concerns to address and conflicts to resolve — and our goal was to ensure a smooth transition as overall workplace plans were finalized. To replace our previous Telecommuting Policy, we implemented a new Workplace Modernization Policy, which includes topics such as workplace persona guidelines, relocation approval process, business travel expense protocol, and how to formally request a workplace persona assignment change.

Additionally, to assist our employees with changes related to our return-to-office (RTO), we communicated workspace scheduling information and general tax expectations (for remote employees), and created two RTO Guides:

  • The RTO Guide for Managers was intended to help managers prepare for working with their teams in the new era of a “distributed environment.” The guide contains key details for managing successfully in a distributed environment, including tips for utilizing shared workspaces; how to determine when it may be most effective for a manager and their team to work in the office; and how a manager can partner with their team to establish best practices and facilitate a collaborative and engaging working environment — ensuring continued performance in line with our Core Value of Excellence. Managers were asked to maintain an inclusive, forward-thinking environment that values the person as a whole instead of focusing on only the work that they produce and were reminded to always place safety first.
  • The RTO Guide for Employees contained FAQs about workplace personas; tips and recommended etiquette for working in a shared workspace; how to determine when it may be most effective to work in the office; best practices to ensure success; and the importance of keeping safety our top priority.

With the reopening of our offices in April 2022, roughly 61% of office-based employees are working remotely (remote persona), 37% split their time between remote and at an Equitrans location (flex persona), and 2% are working in the office full-time (anchor persona). We expect our workplace modernization model to improve employee satisfaction and retention, expand our talent pool, and create additional flexibility for our employees, while promoting continued business execution.  

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Culture Change Belongs to All of Us

Our goal is to create a workforce culture that is not only aligned with our values, but also inspires employees to be their best selves. Based on the findings of our initial culture assessment conducted in 2020, we implemented several culture enhancing initiatives that were aligned with our mission, vision, and strategy — including redesigning our employee recognition program, introducing 360-degree management assessments and coaching, and launching an on-demand learning platform.

In 2021, we conducted our second culture survey, which had a 78% participation rate and highlighted significant, double-digit percentile increases across all 48 culture survey questions. In conjunction with our Culture Champions Group, we attribute these culture score improvements to the many action items we implemented since conducting our previous assessment.

The survey platform we utilize measures organizations across four areas: Mission, Consistency, Involvement, and Adaptability. While we were encouraged by the results, we also recognize there are areas that require continued focus to improve our culture. Below are a few key highlights from our recent survey:

Leveraging Our Strengths

  • We are very strong in the areas of teamwork and agreement — illustrating strong coordination across departments, the elimination of silos, and alignment with our Core Values, which highlights a strong sense of right and wrong.
  • We had positive shifts in how we use our Core Values to guide our decisions & the perceptions of leaders who demonstrate these values.
  • We scored near the 95th percentile on most of the safety aspects, something we are very proud of as we continue to elevate our strong safety culture.

Taking Action

Based on the opportunities for improvement, we are implementing several action items that are linked to three primary focus areas:

  • Customer Focus: The best way to define Customer Focus is with a question — “When we get a request from a fellow employee, do we treat that request as if it came from a customer?” The success of our Company depends on all employees — from maintaining safe operations, ensuring system reliability, and designing system enhancements to closing our books, scheduling projects, running payroll, and managing our legal and regulatory concerns. As we strive to be a reliable partner inside and out, in 2022 we added customer service to our Core Value of Collaboration; and we are implementing initiatives to improve our internal customer service and ensure the timely exchange of information requests.
  • Strategic Direction & Intent: Employees understand the importance of connecting the dots between our strategy and their day-to-day work. Based on survey feedback, we will continue to publish our quarterly Strategic Priorities Update and schedule all-employee meetings to communicate progress on our Company’s annual priorities and objectives, which helps employees to align their individual objectives. Achieving our Company goals takes teamwork, collaboration, and individual contributions by everyone.
  • Capability Development: As people leaders, we want to take a more active role in the development of our employees, helping them to understand and explore opportunities for advancement. To support our managers, we rolled out training during 2022 to assist managers in having effective career conversations with employees, encouraging an open dialogue on opportunities for growth and skill development. We also updated our Core Value of Excellence to include employee capability development — reinforcing the importance of helping to improve the capabilities of our employees as a competitive advantage. 

At Equitrans, culture change belongs to all of us, and each employee plays a vital role in achieving our vision of becoming the premier midstream company in North America. Our employees’ continued commitment to E-Train’s success is demonstrated by staying the course — effectively managing our business and running our operations safely, efficiently, and responsibly.

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Distracted Driving Awareness

Distracted driving is an important safety issue — whether we are traveling for work or transporting friends and family during our personal time. The tragic results of distracted driving can happen to any one of us, anywhere, and at any time. Furthermore, these distractions come in many forms and can be caused by a number of factors, such as driving while using a communications device, tending to others who are in the vehicle, using your vehicle’s audio system, or simply observing scenery as we pass it on the road. 

 In response to an increase in preventable vehicle accidents in 2020, Equitrans’ safety team created a Safe Driving Stand-Up, whereby supervisors were tasked with encouraging their teams to focus on changing their driving behaviors to better ensure everyone’s safety. In 2021, we placed additional emphasis on vehicle driving safety through our Companywide Distracted Driving Awareness initiative, which included encouraging employees to sign a distracted driving pledge as a symbol of their commitment to drive safely, be in the moment, and remain focused on the task-at-hand.

With more than 500 employees in attendance, Equitrans’ Distracted Driving Awareness campaign kicked off with a presentation by Joel Feldman, renowned distracted driver speaker. Mr. Feldman is an attorney from Philadelphia who, despite representing those impacted by distracted driving crashes, frequently drove distracted himself. Following the death of his daughter in an accident caused by a distracted driver, he changed the way he drives and the way he thinks about driving safety. In 2011, he founded EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving) and spends the majority of his professional time working to educate people about this issue — with the goal to reduce distracted driving incidents of all kinds.

Mr. Feldman shared some very powerful and personal messaging, along with several important reminders that focused on how to change driving behaviors to better ensure one’s personal safety, the safety of their passengers, as well as the safety of everyone on the road. In addition, the Equitrans Midstream Foundation expanded these important safe driving messages by partnering with EndDD to bring Mr. Feldman’s presentation to four local high schools in our Pennsylvania operating area.

In 2022, our Foundation is pleased to continue its partnership with EndDD by supporting the creation of a nationwide public service campaign geared toward preventing distracted driving among high school students.

Equitrans believes that having a safe-driving mindset should extend beyond the workplace, and we want our employees to be equipped to prevent distractions while driving for both work and personal travel. With safety as our top priority and number one Core Value, the more we share the importance of learning how to NOT DRIVE DISTRACTED, the safer all of us will be.

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Protecting Our Critical Energy Infrastructure

With cyber-attacks on the rise in nearly every industry sector, including those related to oil/gas pipelines, there is a heightened need for teamwork and collaboration to protect our nation’s energy infrastructure. We recognize the important joint efforts of pipeline operators, government agencies, vendors, and industry groups in developing solutions to combat the complex challenges of an ever-changing cybersecurity landscape. The formation of this alliance is based on a common goal: keeping our critical infrastructure safe, secure, and reliable.

To ensure adequate resources and elevate the criticality of our industry’s cyber initiatives, Chief Executive Officers and Chief Information Officers from our nation’s major pipeline operators, as well as top leaders from various government agencies are aligned on this priority. In addition, with this level of attention and focus on cybersecurity, responsibility has gone beyond Information Technology personnel. To be truly effective, cybersecurity requires multi-disciplinary leadership involvement from other business functions, such as physical security, emergency management, facilities, legal, and supply chain.

As a natural gas pipeline operator, Equitrans Midstream transports roughly 10% of U.S. natural gas production every day, making it critical for us to know and understand the latest threat intelligence. With the knowledge gained through these industry and government relationships, we are better prepared to implement leading practices designed to counter evolving attack vectors.

At Equitrans Midstream, we believe forming a cybersecurity partnership has helped raise the security bar across the industry, resulting in a collective benefit that is beyond what any individual pipeline operator could achieve. By working together on cybersecurity initiatives, we are striving to make the natural gas pipeline sector more secure, while at the same time continuing to provide the critical energy resources on which our nation relies.

     – Carmine Fantini, CIO, Equitrans Midstream

The continued evolution of cybersecurity threats demands a holistic response from industry, government, and suppliers. Equitrans recognizes this reality, and we work diligently every day to enhance our strong public/private sector alliance — strengthening our capabilities to protect our critical energy infrastructure.

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Emergency Response and Preparedness

In August 2021, flammable vapors from a tank vent ignited during a late afternoon electrical storm at the Equitrans Twilight Compressor Station, a natural gas gathering facility located in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Upon notification of the incident, the Equitrans crisis team quickly convened — no injuries were reported, and no significant damage occurred. 

As part of our response, Equitrans technicians were immediately dispatched and, once on site, began to implement necessary safety procedures, including the closing of appropriate valves to isolate the tank. In addition, the local volunteer fire department was on site to assist with appropriate fire safety protocols.

Equitrans’ emergency procedures and closing of valves successfully allowed the flame to self-extinguish, and within a short time the tank was fully isolated. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection was notified, and, as a courtesy, local township officials and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission received notification of the incident.

Working together with the crisis team, our operations, safety, and compliance teams determined that the ignition occurred as a result of a lightning strike that ignited vapors from a malfunctioning tank vent. After reviewing and understanding the cause of the incident, operations worked with engineering to identify and inspect similar tank vents, as well as tank grounding, to minimize the risk of similar incidents from occurring in the future.

For more information on Equitrans Emergency Response and Preparedness, please visit: Public Safety and Emergency Response.

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