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Workforce Culture

Our ability to create sustainable value for all stakeholders is driven from the inside out — and begins with our employees. We believe that our workforce is the most critical factor in achieving both our business objectives and our sustainability goals, and we work each day to cultivate an inclusive, respectful work environment that values differing perspectives and encourages the power of teamwork and accountability.

A large group of Equitrans employees is attending the Kennywood picnic.

An Engaged, Motivated, and Inclusive Workforce

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Information on employees and other workers

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Defined benefit plan obligations and other retirement plans

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Management of material topics

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New employee hires and employee turnover

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Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees

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Parental leave

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Average hours of training per year per employee

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Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs

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Percent of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews

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We believe that a positive work environment encourages innovative thinking and collaboration. We aim to attract and retain the best talent in the industry — and are committed to providing our employees with a safe, inclusive, and supportive work environment where they can thrive. In managing our culture initiatives, Equitrans’ executive team believes it is important to provide employees with opportunities that allow for balance in their work and personal lives.

Person-Centric Work Environment

Recognizing the potential benefits to the Company of a flexible work model, Equitrans conducted a workplace modernization survey in June 2020, whereby office-based employees were asked to select their workplace preferences based on a set of three “workplace personas” (anchor, flex, and remote), in line with the options available for their role as assigned by managers. The results of the survey helped us to understand how and where our employees prefer to work, which was critical for the development of a long-term plan for Equitrans’ regional office locations. 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.

Workforce Turnover

As a key performance indicator, we track employee turnover to assess our ongoing talent engagement and retention efforts, which we believe are critical elements in determining the effectiveness of our overall workforce management strategies. At year-end 2021, the Company’s total turnover rate was roughly 5.4%, which is inclusive of a 4.5% voluntary turnover rate.

Total Workforce Turnover Rate (2020–2021)
6.20%
2020
5.35%
2021

 

Workforce Overview

Employee Summary 2019 2020 2021
Total Employees 801 777 766
Male Employees 626 597 580
Female Employees 175 180 186
Employee Work Locations 2019 2020 2021
Pennsylvania1 609 551 514
West Virginia1 140 161 186
Ohio1 46 46 35
Other U.S. Locations1, 2 6 19 31

1) For purposes of this report, work state/location is based on an employee’s taxable earnings, as reported to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and each respective state’s tax department

2) Other Locations may include California; Colorado; Florida; Illinois, Indiana; Kentucky; Maryland, North Carolina; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; and Virginia

Full-Time/Part-Time Employee Breakdown 2019 2020 2021
Full-time: Male 626 597 580
Full-time: Female  173  177  182
Part-time: Male 0 0 0
Part-time: Female1 2 3 4

1) The Company reports Pennsylvania as the primary work location for all female, part-time employees

 

Culture Initiatives

Employees are the lifeblood of any organization. Equitrans recognizes the importance of talent management and has developed an approach that focuses on creating a positive workforce culture that encourages employee input, celebrates successes, and provides opportunities for growth and development. By taking these steps, Equitrans can create a workplace that employees are proud to be a part of, which results in increased productivity and innovation. A positive workforce culture also promotes high employee productivity, retention, and greater safety awareness. Equitrans' workforce culture is further enhanced by a number of cultural efforts specifically planned for 2022, including improving employee capability development and enhancing internal customer service.

Culture Champions Group

Equitrans’ Culture Champions Group was founded in July 2019. The members of our Culture Champions Group are selected to represent each department and/or geographic location in order to solicit feedback and suggestions from employees across the Company. Based on information gathered from employees, members openly discuss ways to enhance and improve our workforce culture during their regularly scheduled meetings. Culture Champions Group leaders bring suggestions and solutions to our Chief Human Resources Officer and President and Chief Operating Officer for review and consideration. Relevant management groups then implement the recommended action items.

Culture Initiatives: 90% of our employees engaged in a culture initiatives program in 2021.

Lunch With Leaders

Equitrans’ Lunch with Leaders program was developed from a Culture Champions Group suggestion. Our Lunch with Leaders program provides our workers a unique chance to speak about business concerns directly with executive level leadership and other Company leaders. Discussion topics are generally dependent on the leaders’ area of expertise, or often the discussions are scheduled as an informal meet and greet. While there is not a specified cadence, most leaders conduct sessions on a quarterly basis.

Virtual Meet-Ups

Our Virtual Meet-Ups are an informal way for employees to connect and engage with coworkers on various topics of interest, regardless of location, allowing for a wide-range of employees to interact and learn from one another to foster a more inclusive environment. Virtual Meet-Ups are typically held on a monthly basis.

Coffee Talks

Equitrans’ Coffee Talks give employees an opportunity to learn about business-related topics at a department level. These sessions encourage networking and allow employees to learn about the various roles, groups, and projects within Equitrans.

Spotlight — Employee Recognition

In early 2021, we launched a new employee recognition program, which we call Spotlight. Spotlight allows employees to formally recognize one another for doing work that goes above and beyond and for routinely demonstrating our Core Values and dedication to our Company. Employees can simply say thanks to a colleague through a variety of eCards — OR — for more substantial recognition, employees can nominate a co-worker for a monetary award.

All-Employee Meetings

Equitrans' executive leadership team holds all-employee meetings a minimum of two times per year. With the majority of our workforce working remotely, and in an effort to stay as connected as possible, we continued to conduct virtual all-employee communication sessions. Our discussions covered relevant and timely business updates, as well as current industry topics. Time is also allotted for a robust question and answer session with employees and leaders. As a Core Value, Equitrans promotes transparent communications among all employee groups.

 

Feedback and Performance Evaluation

At Equitrans, we believe that by investing in the growth and development of our employees, we are investing in the future success of our Company. All employees participate in an annual feedback and performance review process. We discontinued the use of a rating system to evaluate employees and instead equipped managers with the tools and training to provide each employee with meaningful and personalized feedback. Equitrans prioritizes providing high-quality feedback to all of our employees in order to help them develop and grow.

Using the results of our 2020 culture survey, in 2021 we proactively identified departments having relatively lower engagement scores and offered a 360-degree assessment tool to provide more robust feedback for these department managers. We aligned the assessment tool with the survey’s culture dimensions to ensure that managers are well-equipped to understand and manage the needs of employees.

100% of employees receive and participate in annual performance reviews.

 

Eleven employees are being recognized and holding certificates.

Development and Training

To encourage employee growth, Equitrans offers a variety of learning opportunities related to leadership, safety, and professional development. In 2021, the Company provided an average of 16.9 hours of training per employee, with the majority of those hours focused on employee and leadership development. Other training categories included information technology/cybersecurity, health and safety, corporate compliance, and specialized technical training as related to specific job functions.

Our leadership and development programs center on our Core Values, comprising three individual training levels that are based on an employee’s current position within the Company and leadership experience. Details on each of the programs is as follows:

  • EMERGE: Is designed for employees who show interest in taking on a leadership role. The program provides participants with a better understanding of their “leadership style” and how they can use that style to be effective in leading people. Specific modules include self-awareness and communication; managing conflict; understanding your change style; and leadership presence and influence skills.
  • LEAD: Is designed for new first-line supervisors and managers. Our LEAD program helps participants master the skills they need to move from technical or functional experts to people leaders, and to learn how to be a leader at Equitrans. Topics include executing strategy at the front line; coaching; managing the human side of change; understanding unconscious bias; leading virtually; and targeted selection.
  • BILD: Is designed for senior managers and directors. Our BILD program focuses on helping leaders at this level to execute through others. The focus areas of this course include managing emotional intelligence; mastering decision dynamics; and translating strategy into results.

In addition, at the heart of our Inclusion Program is our Core Value of collaboration. We are committed to being a reliable partner, inside and out, and we promote inclusion by providing educational resources and trainings on diversity and inclusion topics. Bi-weekly, Equitrans delivers creative inclusion-related content to our employees through Blue Ocean Brain, a specialized eLearning platform. These are micro-learning topics that increase employees’ abilities to understand and celebrate our differences. Past topics include allyship; capitalizing on generational strengths; boosting cultural competency; LGBTQ+ awareness and support; psychological safety in the workplace; and the hidden cost of stereotyping. Equitrans also launched a manager-training program to incorporate these inclusion-related themes into everyday work. Our trainings assist Equitrans employees in creating an inclusive and respectful work environment that values differing perspectives and encourages the power of teamwork and accountability.

Flex-Time and Parental Leave

Equitrans continually searches for new ways to improve inclusion and well-being. While most employees work full-time, we understand a standard 9-5 job does not work for everyone. We offer alternative work schedules where full-time employees work 40 hours a week in a non-standard schedule. Many of our roles do not require employees to be confined to our physical office locations, allowing work to be done virtually from almost anywhere in the continental United States.

In 2021, we changed our Paternity Leave benefit to New Parent Leave to be more inclusive of all Equitrans employees, including full-time and part-time employees who work between 20–35 hours/week. New Parent Leave allows our employees to spend time with their newborn children and is available to all full- and part-time employees. Equitrans also offers a similar Adoption Leave benefit for parents of newly adopted children.

Employees and their families are attending the Equitrans Breakfast with Santa event.

Health and Wellness Benefit Offerings

Equitrans provides comprehensive health and wellness benefits to its employees and facilitates employee access to healthcare through the offering of a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), which includes an annual deductible for each participating employee. Once the deductible is met, the plan pays 90% of eligible in-network medical expenses or 80% for out-of-network medical expenses. Additionally, the plan pays 100% of eligible preventive care expenses even if the deductible has not been met. For prescription drug coverage, once the deductible is met, generic prescriptions are covered at 100% and brand prescriptions are covered at 80%, with maximums in place. The healthcare program covers all full-time employees, as well as part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week, and their eligible dependents. Coverage is effective on the first day of employment.

Employees enrolled in the healthcare program can also establish and contribute to a tax-effective Health Savings Account (HSA) to assist with part of the annual deductible or save for future healthcare expenses. Equitrans contributes a pro-rated amount to employee HSAs during their first year of employment with the Company. In subsequent years, employees can continue to receive HSA contributions from Equitrans, based on their completion of annual wellness requirements.

Equitrans also offers dental and vision insurance for full-time employees, as well as part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week employees, and their eligible dependents. For dental insurance, coverage provides comprehensive dental care services with in-network preventive services covered at 100%. For vision insurance, an eye exam once every calendar year is included along with specific allowances for lenses once every calendar year and eyeglass frames once every other calendar year. Contact lenses are covered with specific allowances once every calendar year in lieu of lenses.

Full-time employees and part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week receive basic group term life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance coverage. Additional contributory life insurance equal to one-, two-, three-, four-, or five-times base salary is available at group rates to full-time employees and part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week. Full-time employees and part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week are eligible for contributory spouse and child life insurance coverage, and Company-paid business travel accident insurance is provided to full-time employees.

Short-term and long-term disability insurance is available to full-time employees and part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week. The duration and amount of the short-term disability payment is determined by the employee’s years of service and hours scheduled. The long-term policy provides continuing income at a percentage of salary in effect at the time of disability and is offset by other benefits received due to disability. There is a buy-up option under the long-term disability policy.

Equitrans also offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides employees and their families with counseling and guidance in a variety of areas, including behavioral health concerns, personal and family issues, and legal assistance. Full-time employees and part-time employees who work between 20–35 hours/week are eligible for the EAP.

Our new voluntary wellness program, Wellness Engine, managed in conjunction with an external wellness partner, was launched in January 2022. Wellness Engine supports different areas of employee total wellness, such as nutrition, emotional well-being, fitness, and financial wellness. It also includes access to biometric screenings, a confidential health risk assessment, and health coaching.

In 2021, the Home/Office Safety Committee and Human Resources Department invited Rob Fisher, a consultant on Human and Organizational Performance, to present how mental health and wellness bear critically on human performance. During his presentation, he gave valuable science-based knowledge and several tools to address how to avoid or mitigate errors when the stakes are high. When the task is critical, he further explained that uncertainty and stress increase the probability of making mistakes.

Given the importance of employees’ mental health and wellness, we recognize employees are relying more and more on collaborative technology to connect, which means more Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and Zoom meetings. This use of technology, particularly for office-based employees, has led to an excessive amount of back-to-back meetings, often with few or no breaks between — and over time, the results can lead to a decline in healthy habits, ergonomic-related issues, increased levels of stress, and an overall unhealthy workforce. To mitigate some of these potential issues, in 2021, Equitrans initiated “Meeting BIBs” or “Built-in-Breaks” — which automatically adjusts the default times when scheduling internal, online meetings — giving employees a few extra minutes to refocus and reset. Internal meetings scheduled for 30 minutes are reduced by five minutes and meetings set for an hour or longer are reduced by 10 minutes. By reducing the duration of scheduled meetings, employees have time to stand and stretch, grab another cup of coffee/tea/water, or simply have a few minutes to clear their mind before their next meeting, which helps to improve our employees’ mental health and prevent burnout during back-to-back meetings. 

An employee's ergonomic home office includes two monitors, an elevated laptop, a keyboard and other suppliers.

Retirement Benefit Offerings

To support employees’ financial goals, Equitrans offers retirement provisions for all full-time and part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week, including the Equitrans Midstream Corporation Employee Savings Plan (401(k) Plan), the Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP), and the Medical Spending Account.

401(k) Plan

Generally, eligible earnings in the 401(k) Plan include base compensation, overtime, and cash short-term incentive plan payments up to the annual compensation limits set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States Department of Treasury. Employees are 100% vested in the Company’s contributions upon completing at least three years of service. Eligible employees may contribute up to 50% of their eligible earnings on a pre-tax basis and in accordance with the IRS limits. New or rehired employees who do not enroll in the 401(k) Plan within 60 days are automatically enrolled for a personal 6% pre-tax contribution, the percentage and investment options of which can be changed at any time. Employees are always 100% vested in their personal contributions.

For eligible employees, Equitrans may make two contributions to an employee’s 401(k) Plan account:

Retirement Contribution – This contribution currently equals 6% of an employee’s eligible earnings and is made regardless of whether the employee chooses to make a personal contribution to the 401(k) Plan.

Matching Contribution – For those employees who choose to contribute to their 401(k) Plan, the Company matches 50% of their personal contribution, up to the first 6% contributed.

Employees may also be eligible for a catch-up contribution beginning in the calendar year in which they reach age 50, and if their contributions exceed the annual IRS limit. These catch-up contributions begin automatically at the same percentage as an employee’s current pre-tax 401(k) contribution, unless or until an employee elects to stop contributing. Catch-up contributions are not matched by the Company.

Employee Stock Purchase Plan

The ESPP gives employees an opportunity to share in the future value created by the Company by purchasing shares of ETRN common stock at a discount. If enrolled, the employee’s after-tax payroll deductions will be used to purchase shares of ETRN common stock at a 15% discount, subject to IRS limitations. The Company pays the 15% difference between the employee’s discounted price and the market price, as well as all brokerage fees associated with purchasing the stock. When an employee sells stock, they are responsible for paying any taxes on the increase in value above the purchase cost and any fees associated with the selling of stock. Employees are advised that the health of the Company, developments within the industry or the Company itself, or overall market fluctuations may cause the price of the Company stock to rise or fall.

Medical Spending Account

Employees who are at least age 55 with five or more years of service may be eligible for an MSA when their employment ends. The MSA is intended to help cover part of the cost of healthcare coverage and other eligible health expenses during retirement. Equitrans will credit the MSA with $1,000 for each full year of service with the Company.

Two Equitrans employees at their home office are holding a sign that says,  "Gotta keep the gas flowing" in the center of the small whiteboard.

Enhancing Our Culture

Equitrans’ goal is to create a workforce culture that is not only aligned with our values, but also inspires employees to be their best selves. We believe that when employees feel engaged and supported, they are more likely to stay with the Company and contribute their best work. Equitrans evaluates our approach to workforce culture by conducting a regular Culture Assessment. Management reviews assessment results and areas needing improvement with our Board of Directors. We conduct assessments approximately every 18-24 months. Our regular Equitrans’ Culture Assessments lead to culture initiatives and employee engagement opportunities. In 2021, our culture survey participation rate was 78%, and we saw double digit percentile increases across all 48 culture survey questions. We attribute the improvement in our culture scores to the action items we implemented in 2020 and 2021.

Equitrans is constantly working to create an environment where every employee feels valued and respected. We have implemented several talent attraction, engagement, and retention initiatives to develop a workforce culture aligned with our mission, vision, and strategy. For example, we have revamped our employee recognition program, introduced 360-degree management assessments and coaching, and launched an on-demand learning platform. In addition, we have identified areas for workforce culture improvements and opportunities by engaging employees.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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