Social

Community Engagement

Our goals are to operate as a socially responsible company and to contribute in a positive way to the local communities in which we operate. We also recognize that public apprehension about natural gas pipelines and their related facilities is an understandable sentiment both locally and nationally. It is important to us that everyone living or working near one of our pipelines or facilities is confident in our commitment to operating in a safe and responsible manner. 

Approach to Community Engagement

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Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary

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The management approach and its components

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Evaluation of the management approach

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Operations with local community engagement, impacts assessments, and development programs

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Political contributions

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Equitrans’ continued success directly ties to our engagement with local communities, as we clearly understand that our pipeline operations can and do affect them. We consistently engage with community members to keep them informed of our current, planned, and proposed operations. We also strive to inform community stakeholders of our commitment to operating with integrity, accountability, and transparency. In February 2021, we published our formal Stakeholder Engagement and Community Investment Policy which captures our efforts to build collaboration and trust with our communities and other key stakeholders. At Equitrans, these engagements typically involve three primary approaches: addressing community concerns and public perceptions; investing in communities; and managing our corporate reputation. 

Addressing Community Concerns & Public Perceptions

Public apprehension about natural gas pipelines and their related facilities is an understandable sentiment both locally and nationally. It is important to us, as a Company, that everyone living or working near one of our pipelines or facilities is confident in our commitment to operating in a safe and responsible manner. We understand that to build trust, we must listen to and act on community concerns. Our Government Affairs, Land, and Construction groups serve as the primary liaison for responding to inquiries from our community stakeholders. Equitrans’ Engineering team is also available to assist our external outreach teams in addressing specific concerns related to the technical design of a pipeline or facility.

Equitrans’ Government Affairs group builds and maintains relationships with policy stakeholders. Our Government Affairs group frequently engages with civic organizations, elected officials, emergency response personnel, business owners, residents, and other local stakeholders to foster relationship building at the local, state, and national levels.

In the field, our Land and Construction groups serve as our primary points of contact for landowners and other community members. These group members regularly attend and participate in public municipal meetings in areas where we have ongoing and future projects to establish good working relationships with our local communities and to reinforce clear lines of communication for project questions. The input from our local communities increases Equitrans’ ability to address specific public needs and mitigate operational risks before they become disputes or hazards.

As part of our Land team, our Owner Relations group primarily addresses payment or tax-related concerns and also works with other members of the Land group to address questions and concerns about our operations. Landowners can call, fax, or email Equitrans’ Owner Relations group through our Owner Relations Line. Messages received through the Owner Relations line are tracked using our software system and are closed out by Equitrans’ team members when resolved. The tracking system allows us to gather data and evaluate our efficiency and transparency in resolving issues and concerns. In addition, we use the collected information to develop and refine our policies and procedures, which in turn minimizes or eliminates operational issues before they become larger concerns or disputes.

We constantly evaluate the impacts of our operations on local communities and establish best practices to mitigate issues and concerns to the extent possible. A prime example of this evaluation occurs during the installation of a compressor station. Before installation begins, we evaluate the area around the station to identify potential issues that may arise. After we install the compressor unit(s), we conduct baseline noise studies to check for excess local noise. If these studies identify a noise issue, we proactively install sound mitigation measures, where appropriate, to minimize the impact on neighboring properties.

Our use of roads during pipeline construction is another noteworthy example of our efforts to be responsible community stewards. Our construction activities often temporarily impact the roadway conditions in the communities where we operate, and it is important that we make every effort to minimize these impacts. When starting construction, Equitrans implements established procedures to identify the roads we will traverse in order to assess any maintenance that may be required either before work begins or after it is finished. We communicate this information to the local municipality, and we work with the municipality’s officials to ensure minimal disruption to community members during our use of the roadways.

The input of our Government Affairs, Land, and Construction groups receive from local stakeholders assists in refining Equitrans’ policies, practices, and procedures. We encourage community engagement in all aspects of our business and believe community feedback allows our organization to be more effective and efficient.

Investing in Communities

At Equitrans, we are passionate about investing in the communities where we live and work and are committed to bettering the lives of individuals who live in our operating communities. We support a wide range of organizations within these communities through our corporate giving and sponsorship program, as well as the Equitrans Midstream Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) organization. There are separate local giving and sponsorship programs for our joint-venture projects, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline and MVP Southgate projects, which is not included in this report.

Corporate Local Giving & Sponsorships

To ensure legality and appropriateness, our Corporate Communications or Government Affairs leaders review and approve each Equitrans corporate donation or sponsorship. These employees follow a structured review and a pre-approval process, ensuring all contributions align with our Core Values and confirming that contributions are not made to local authorities with oversight of our current or future operations, which would raise questions of impropriety.

Our corporate local giving program supports a variety of local organizations, non-profit groups, first responders, and municipalities seeking assistance for community projects. Other investments include the active sponsorship of county fairs, community festivals, and other local events. Both our donations and sponsorships present opportunities for us to interact with community members, inform them of our business operations, and most importantly enhance their quality of life.

In the wake of COVID-19, Equitrans placed a heavy emphasis on supporting our first responders and local communities. We participated in several food drives, donated supplies to local schools, provided necessary medical supplies to county agencies, and also provided support to local humane societies during the pandemic. As we broaden our sustainability investments, we are especially proud of our new partnership with the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe. Our multi-year investment will support the sustainability efforts of the Tribe by providing for the acquisition of waterfront land within the historic extent of their territory, allowing the Tribe to establish an indigenous environmental education pavilion and a canoe livery that will support the Tribe’s goals of enhancing the financial stability and physical well-being of its members. The investment is also expected to create opportunities for younger generations to remain connected to the waterborne culture that has sustained the Tribe for many years.

During 2020, Equitrans made supporting contributions totaling $265,500 (excluding project-related donations), which included programs and organizations such as:

  • Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe
  • One Tree Planted
  • Eastern Gas Compression Association
  • Good Neighbor Day Events
  • Greene County Department of Recreation
  • Governor’s One Shot, Inc.
  • Jefferson Volunteer Fire Company
  • Rain Day Festival
  • Battelle District Fair
  • Multiple emergency response funds (PA/OH/WV)
  • Charity Miles
  • Cokeburg Volunteer Fire Company
  • Ohio Oil & Gas Association
  • Cecil Volunteer Fire Department
  • Multiple animal shelters and humane societies (PA/OH/WV)

Our goals are to operate as a socially responsible company and to contribute in a positive way to the local communities in which we operate. We support our employees in volunteer activities that enrich the lives of others, while at the same time enhancing their own experiences, and we encourage our employees to solicit and recommend community outreach programs in which volunteers can contribute and participate. Equitrans utilizes E-Train On-Track to support the engagement of our employees in corporate-sponsored community service initiatives and social/recreational employee activities that align with our Core Values of safety, integrity, collaboration, transparency, and excellence.

E-Train On-Track

Formed in 2019, our E-Train On-Track committee consists of 10 employees representing Equitrans’ office locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Committee members meet monthly to evaluate opportunities for volunteering, community service, and employee social activities that are aligned with our Core Values and promote a deeper connection with the communities where we live and work. During 2020, in accordance with our pandemic working protocols, our E-Train On-Track committee coordinated eight events to promote local employee volunteerism and community service. Volunteer activities benefitted the Western PA Conservancy, the Montour Trail, and various local food pantries. Employees also enjoyed participating in a Charity Miles fitness challenge and several holiday toy drives.

Additionally, Equitrans offers a “Volunteer Paid-Time Off” program that allows employees to use regular work hours to engage directly with their community. Employees request approval to spend work hours volunteering for a charity or agency of their choice and can take up to two business days of paid volunteer time annually. While many external events and activities were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, our employees logged a total of 458 volunteer hours during 2020.

Equitrans Midstream Foundation

The Equitrans Midstream Foundation is a legally separate 501(c)(3) entity established upon the Company’s inception in 2018. Our Foundation partners with non-profit organizations to boost social and economic prosperity in local communities by investing in projects and programs that better communities through improving safety and well-being, fostering inclusion, celebrating diversity, encouraging cultural heritage and local arts, as well as supporting and developing livable communities. Our goal is to positively impact the future of local community members through community development, education, and environmental outreach programs.

Community Development

The Foundation’s community development investments focus on initiatives that enhance the fabric of communities by:

  • Enhancing community safety and wellbeing
  • Supporting the enrichment of arts and culture in the community
  • Fostering inclusion and promoting diversity in communities
  • Encouraging the development of livable communities that attract and retain residential, commercial, and industrial growth

Education

The Foundation’s spending on education initiatives looks to develop a sustainable energy workforce through projects that:

  • Advance science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education, with a focus on accessibility to underserved and underrepresented groups
  • Prepare students to compete in the workforce of the future, with tools to make positive social and economic contributions
  • Empower students to pursue trades and vocational training

Environment

The environmental investments our Foundation supports mitigate our operational impact through:

  • Providing environmental education on land, air, and water stewardship
  • Empowering individuals and organizations to utilize conservation methods to preserve our natural resources
  • Supporting projects that promote environmental stewardship

Our Foundation made $460,000 in donations during 2020, with a special focus on COVID-19 relief grants and initiatives. Additionally, the Foundation matches employee contributions dollar-for-dollar, from $100 to $50,000, and made an additional $385,000 in employee matching donations. Below are a few of the key programs our Foundation supported in 2020:

  • Saltworks Theater Company—Drug Prevention & Bullying Prevention Program
  • Junior Achievement Western PA—Washington & Greene Counties Student Programming
  • Bentworth Blessings – Food Supplies Programs for Bentworth School District
  • Intermediate Unit One – 2020-2021 Innovation Mini Grant Program
  • The Education Partnership – Adopt-A-School Education Packet Program
  • Gwen’s Girls – Academic Support Initiative
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh – Youth Mentoring in Washington & Greene Counties
  • WVU Foundation/Institute of Water Security & Science – Drinking Water Education and Testing
  • Allegheny Land Trust – Meyer Farm Restoration
  • Mid-Ohio Food Bank
  • Corner Cupboard Food Bank
  • Pittsburgh Foundation
  • Your Community Foundation North Central WV
  • Community Foundation of Ohio Valley

Faced by unprecedented times, we are incredibly pleased with the positive impact our Foundation had over the past year. This year, more than ever, showed the importance of community engagement and support. We will continue our efforts to assist the local communities around us and encourage anyone to apply for funding via our online application.

Managing Our Corporate Reputation

At Equitrans, our Core Values of safety, integrity, collaboration, transparency, and excellence are the principles that guide our employees’ behaviors and decisions. A few examples of our employees working through our values include:

  • Gathering information to help identify local concerns before they inconvenience neighbors
  • Advocating for the community by affirming that issues or concerns are addressed at the appropriate level within Equitrans and are ultimately resolved
  • Acting as a channel of information for suggesting ways to strengthen Equitrans’ processes and procedures
  • Providing opportunities 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

Evaluating Our Community Engagement

To meet and exceed community expectations, we thoughtfully evaluate our engagement approach to determine what is working well, what can be improved, and how to enhance our interactions with local communities. We continually consider how to best engage the public in understanding our operations and the measures that we take to maintain public safety and mitigate environmental impacts during all phases of our operations. Our primary means of engagement is through direct communication and relationship building with all involved stakeholders (landowners, community members, elected officials, emergency responders, etc.). Through these personal engagements, we directly learn from stakeholders about positive outcomes and receive recommendations regarding how we can better address community matters.

We believe that by taking a proactive stance regarding stakeholder engagement and community investment, we are better able to enhance and/or build thriving communities, while also achieving our other overarching business goals.

Political Involvement & Public Policy

It is imperative that we engage policymakers on matters directly related to our operations, and the natural gas industry as a whole, to remain informed of changes that may affect our business. Our natural gas gathering and transportation expertise enables us to be subject matter experts for policymakers when considering associated policies. We stay informed and actively involved in policy developments by regularly connecting with local, state, and federal officials through constructive energy policy dialogues.

Political Governance

We maintain our high standard of integrity while engaging with policymakers on matters that impact Equitrans. We conduct our public policy activities in compliance with all local, state, and federal laws applicable in every operational jurisdiction in which we make political contributions. These laws include federal and state campaign finance laws regarding political spending in support of political parties, politicians, and related institutions. Our political engagement activity is strictly limited to the United States, the only country in which we operate. To assure compliance internally, we developed policies to guide our interactions with lawmakers and regulatory agencies. These governing policies stipulate that no Equitrans employee may engage in lobbying activities on behalf of Equitrans nor use corporate treasury funds for political purposes without explicit permission from the Government Affairs leader or the General Counsel.

Political Spending & Policy Issues

Equitrans supports fair and balanced regulations that benefit both our Company and all its stakeholders. We are dedicated particularly to working with policymakers on opportunities to promote stable investment climates for natural gas transportation and storage. Policies preferred by Equitrans involve the governance of environmental protection, taxes, and natural gas pipelines, as well as expanding the use of natural gas in sectors such as transportation, manufacturing, and electricity generation. In 2020, the Equitrans Political Action Committee (PAC) contributed $103,600 to local, state, and federal candidates in our service territories. Disclosures and public information for Equitrans PAC contributions and disbursements can be found on fec.gov.

Since the initial development of the Marcellus and Utica Shales, the states in our operational footprint have strived to promote a stable investment environment. Equitrans works closely with federal, state, and local policymakers to develop a regulatory framework that promotes a stable business environment for our operations and the economy of the regions where we operate. In recent years, we have noted increased efforts by third parties to oppose, by legislative means, the natural gas industry. While the states in which we operate have different political landscapes, we consistently overcome what we view as onerous legislative proposals that would have negative economic consequences.

Evaluating Our Political Involvement

Equitrans recognizes the impact policy changes can have on our operations and business. Therefore, it is vital that we continuously evaluate our approach to political involvement to maintain its effectiveness. The Equitrans PAC Board reviews and approves all PAC disbursements, taking into account a focus on our operating regions, and the advancement of our industry and its related initiatives, including policies governing environmental protection, taxes, and natural gas transportation. The PAC Board meets on a regular basis to evaluate requests and review past expenditures.

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Safety – Above All Else

In January 2020, Equitrans’ construction personnel were tasked with excavating a pipeline asset at an Equitrans’ compressor facility that was built in the early 1900s.

Following industry-recognized best practices, a One Call was placed, and our Operations team marked the location of the underground gas lines in the area. Additionally, station drawings were examined to identify any potential underground utilities. During the line excavation process, an unidentified conduit that was supplying power for lighting was struck. The conduit separated at a coupler and exposed 110-volt wiring inside. Two spotters were present at the time of the strike and the crew was utilizing a probe rod to assist in identifying unknown objects in the area.

The event underscored the need to always remain vigilant when conducting excavation work, as well as during any type of construction or operational activity, and was a reminder that there are inherent risks in excavating older, legacy stations. For example, there is a potential for imprecise drawings and/or unknown underground utilities. Because of the implementation of our Incidents with Serious Potential (ISP) concept, we undertook a review process and evaluated procedural changes in light of the incident, even though the incident only involved the accidental striking of a conduit with 100-volt wiring and the crew was following applicable procedures and policies.

To mitigate excavation-related risk in the future, a more comprehensive process was designed and implemented for excavating in not only legacy facilities, but all Equitrans facilities. In addition to our standard One Call, drawing review, and pot-holing techniques, an extensive Simultaneous Operations (SIMOPS) procedure is now being used in conjunction with soft digging techniques to further minimize the risk of striking unidentified underground assets. This new process was the catalyst for our 2021 Instrument Air Conversion Project safety plan that is in the final stages of completion, exemplifying our commitment to Safety—above all else.

For more information on Occupational Health & Safety, please visit: Occupational Health & Safety.

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Protecting Endangered Species

The United States has the highest biodiversity of freshwater mussels in the world and is home to more than 300 species of mussels. The aquatic organisms benefit their ecosystem through filtering water. As sedimentation, pollution, and climate change increase, the United State Fish & Wildlife Services (USFWS) has noticed a severe drop in mussels. Approximately 70 percent of American mussels are extinct or at risk of becoming extinct and 78 species are classified as federally endangered.

The linear nature of pipelines sometimes requires the crossing of aquatic resources, and Equitrans is mindful of the impact our projects could have on various sites and species and seeks to utilize additional precautionary measures to mitigate potential aquatic impacts. Certain of Equitrans’ pipeline assets in Pennsylvania and West Virginia are located in an area known for its abundance of mussels.

We are committed to working to preserve our nation’s mussel population and we take extra precautions in respect of freshwater systems near our operations. For example, prior to construction of one of our pipeline assets in Monongalia County, West Virginia, we reached out to the USFWS and discussed the procedures and additional precautions necessary to ensure our pipeline project would not affect mussel habitat in a particular locale. At relevant crossing locations along the pipeline route, Equitrans enlisted qualified malacologists to conduct mussel surveys. Immediately following the surveys, mussels were relocated to suitable habitat locations upstream. We also trained our employees on aquatic safety and the value of mussels to the area. Our efforts helped to preserve approximately 41 protected mussels in the area.

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Supporting the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe

Strong community engagement is the cornerstone of Equitrans’ social license to operate. We recognize the importance of empowering the communities we serve and giving back to the populations with whom we are fortunate to connect with through our work. And we are not limiting our stakeholder engagement efforts to only our local communities – instead, we reach beyond our local footprint to identify opportunities to engage with additional cultural, historical, and environmental organizations.

As part of our ongoing commitment to community engagement, and in alignment with Equitrans’ Inclusion Program, we identified an opportunity to support the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe. The Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe is located in King William County, Virginia, and boasts a strong history of caring for its local population.

“I and the citizens of the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe are ecstatic to finally have a piece of property along the banks of the Mattaponi River, a river that made it possible for us to survive for thousands of years by offering bountiful fish and wildlife to feed our forefathers for so many generations,” said W.Frank Adams, Chief, Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe. “It has been at least two hundred years since the tribe has owned property along our beloved river and I want to thank Equitrans for helping to make this dream come true.”

Chief Adams continued,“We have a lot of ideas and plans for this property, including a nice escape for our tribal citizens, as well as being able to offer a sacred place for some of our tribal rituals. Our long-term goal is to establish a kayak launch and cabins along this section of the river to provide our citizens a place to connect with the river that was our namesake.”

Equitrans provided support for the Tribe’s ongoing social programs and environmental resource preservation, which efforts promote the health and strength of the community. Through our relationship, Equitrans hopes to be a trusted community partner and to support the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe’s continued well-being. We look forward to further developing similar types of important partnerships and connections in the future.

For more information on the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe, please visit: The Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe.

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Emergency Response & Preparedness

In early December 2020, a dehydration unit ignited in the early morning hours at the Equitrans Callisto Compressor Station, a natural gas gathering facility located in Greene County, Pennsylvania. No injuries were reported, and, in an abundance of caution, one home was temporarily evacuated. 

Upon notification of the incident, the Equitrans Crisis Team quickly convened. Our Operations and Safety and Compliance teams, working in conjunction with the Equitrans Crisis Team, determined that the ignition occurred due to an over-pressurization of one of the station’s dehydration units. This was confirmed by a review of the scene, as well as surveillance video at the station. 

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 facility. The local volunteer fire department was also on site to assist with fire safety protocols.

Equitrans’ emergency procedures and closing of valves successfully allowed the primary fire to self-extinguish and all residual flames were extinguished by the fire department. Within a short time, the unit was fully isolated and depressurized and the incident was brought under control and the station locked down. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection was notified, and, as a courtesy, local township officials and the PA PUC received notification of the incident.

Once it was safe to do so, internal and external teams conducted a root cause investigation of the incident, as well as an environmental assessment of the facility and surrounding area. Our Crisis Team, with the assistance of our Legal department, also retained an independent third-party to assist in evaluation efforts and certain equipment was shared with the relevant vendor for further analysis. 

After reviewing the internal and external analyses and understanding the cause of the incident, the Crisis Team enlisted the assistance of our Corporate Compliance and Internal Audit teams to determine what measures, if any, could be implemented to minimize the risk of similar incidents from occurring in the future. Our Corporate Compliance group completed a full investigation of the processes that led to the incident and made recommendations to Internal Audit, which allowed for the refinement of existing procedures, such as valve inspections, valve repairs, and record keeping.

For more information on Pipeline Safety & Integrity, please visit: Pipeline Safety & Integrity.

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Our Sustainability Progress During 2020

As part of our sustainability journey, we embrace the opportunity to enhance the accountability and leadership mechanisms we leverage to ensure responsible practices across our operations. To reinforce our sustainability commitment, in 2020 Equitrans appointed its first Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), Todd Normane.

Through his work, and together with several working groups, our CSO is advancing our management practices across our business. He sets our sustainability strategy, with a special focus on climate change given that it is one of the most critical topics our world is facing. During the past year, he has led the development of policies formalizing our commitment to responsible practices. Additionally, he collaborates with subject matter experts by leading our sustainability working groups to implement our strategy. To promote transparency regarding our initiatives, our CSO collaborates with our Communications team on our annual corporate sustainability report, disclosures on our corporate website, and our CDP Climate Change response.

In line with our commitment to strong sustainability practices, Equitrans recognizes the importance of transparency and continues to improve and expand on our related disclosures. We have always taken our environmental, social, and governance practices very seriously and we work to ensure that our stakeholders have access to information regarding our sustainability efforts. Most recently, we developed our new, sustainability-focused web pages that are prominently available on Equitrans’ corporate website, with associated topics easy to locate by using our new Sustainability navigation menu.

By disclosing information through our corporate site, and linking to our annual corporate sustainability reports, we enable more stakeholders to learn about our management practices and key data points, which are reflective of our commitment to sustainability.

To view sustainability information on our corporate website, please visit: www.equitransmidstream.com.

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Adapting to Change During the Pandemic

In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have proactively undertaken and continued a number of companywide measures intended to promote the safety and health of field and office-based employees and contractors. Through these measures, the Company’s operations have been able to maintain a consistent level of effectiveness. In early March 2020, we established an Infectious Disease Response Team to manage our pandemic response efforts; implemented a mandatory work-from-home protocol for a significant majority of the Company’s employees; and instituted stringent pandemic-related working protocols, including mandatory face coverings and social distancing for field operations, where feasible. We also shared our Infectious Disease Response Plan with suppliers and contractors to ensure alignment of required working protocols across our operations.

Additional Company-wide efforts included eliminating non-essential business travel; implementing self-declaration forms to further protect our workforce; providing certain medical benefit enhancements; implementing strict office and fleet vehicle sanitation measures; and offering a list of preferred items for employees’ home office set-ups. In preparation for the future, post-pandemic, we conducted a Workplace Modernization Survey in June 2020, which had an outstanding 84% participation rate. The survey asked employees to rank their workplace preferences based on a set of three “workplace personas” (anchor, flex, and remote). The results of the survey have helped us to understand how and where our employees prefer to work, which is critical for the development of a long-term plan for Equitrans’ office needs.

Since implementing our many pandemic protocols, our E-Train employees have not missed a beat in continuing to safely operate our assets and our business. We have taken steps to ensure employees are actively engaged and informed by continually providing communication updates; producing a variety of video messages by our executive team; encouraging team-building events via our technology platforms; and delivering COVID-19 care packages to employees’ homes. The Company’s Infectious Disease Response Team continues to monitor and assist in implementing mitigation efforts in respect to potential areas of disease-related risk for the Company.

To learn more about employee safety, please visit: Occupational Health & Safety.

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Physical Security of Our Operations

The safety and security of our employees, our contractors and vendors, and our communities is of primary importance to Equitrans. Our security personnel work to be well-prepared to manage disruptive incidents and with safety as our top priority—above all else.

Since 2019, there has been a notable increase in opposition related to the fossil fuel industry. In response, in 2020 we launched a new training for all employees on what to do in the face of protests, sabotage, and vandalism. Individuals are directed to prioritize their safety and that of their co-workers, including contractors, and to report incidents and obtain help, including by calling Police, Fire, or EMS, as required. In addition, certain of our security guards received additional training on appropriate opposition response, such as legal requirements for the usage of body cameras; and the role law enforcement plays, if needed, in a response. We consistently evaluate opportunities to provide additional trainings as appropriate.  

Vigilance and proactive measures are critical to our maintaining security. We ask employees to pay attention to suspicious persons or vehicles, be mindful of broken locks or gates and the appearance of equipment that may have been tampered with or damaged, and to always remain vigilant about their surroundings. As a result of our safety trainings, we have increased our equipment inspections and continue to improve the overall safety of our assets and facilities.

As an example, a potential opposition incident occurred in October 2020 at a facility in Pennsylvania. At the end of the workday, staff leaving the facility observed several fully masked persons on the access road to the facility, and the group’s vehicles were observed to have out-of-state license plates. In recent years, there has been a trend regarding opposition groups—with observations noting that several site protests and/or equipment tampering incidents are being orchestrated by persons outside of the local communities.

In response to this incident, Equitrans security notified operations leadership and dispatched guards to provide fixed and roving patrol coverage of the facility. The Pennsylvania State Police were also notified and patrolled the area for additional support. It is also standard practice to share information regarding possible threats—and Equitrans released a message to the Marcellus Security Operators Coalition, a working group representing the physical security teams of member companies in the area. As a result of our security training and preparedness approach, no people were harmed, no equipment was damaged, and no further actions ensued from the potential threat incident.

To view security information, please visit: Security & Cybersecurity.

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Commitment to Global Sustainability Frameworks

Like many other companies, Equitrans considers external sustainability guidance in determining the best management practices and methods for communicating information to our stakeholders. Last year, we incorporated the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standard and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Standards in our 2020 Corporate Sustainability Report. Since then, we have also committed to the inclusion of two additional frameworks as part of our management and reporting practices.

In 2021, we will submit our first CDP Climate Change response to provide additional transparency about our climate governance, strategy, risks, and opportunities. Providing this information to our investors, customers, and other stakeholders demonstrates our focus on mitigating our climate impact and preparing for the transition to a lower-carbon economy. Once published, a full copy of our CDP Climate Change response can be accessed on the Sustainability pages of our website.

Additionally, our recently released Stakeholder Engagement and Community Investment Policy signified our intention to operate in the spirit of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the near term, we intend to focus on the seven SDGs listed below, which we believe are most aligned with our business and operational footprint. We will continue to evaluate opportunities to focus on additional, relevant SDGs in the future.

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