The Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD), a collaborative of environmental organizations and energy companies that encourages responsible practices in development of shale gas resources in the Appalachian region, has certified Shell’s SWEPI LP Appalachian operations as having successfully completed the Center’s rigorous evaluation and verification process. Full CSSD certification confirms conformance with all 15 of the Center’s Performance Standards.
“Completing CSSD’s demanding evaluation, verification and certification process is an important achievement for Shell and for the larger effort for environmentally protective practices in shale development in the Appalachian Basin region,” said Susan LeGros, CSSD President and Executive Director.
“By voluntarily taking the lead as one of the first companies to become certified, Shell has reinforced its leadership position in its industry in advancing responsible operating and continuous improvement.”
LeGros pointed out that while Shell is one of the participating companies in CSSD, all producers operating in the Appalachian Basin region are eligible for and encouraged to apply for certification as a way to demonstrate their commitment to the highest performance standards.
Like all companies that earn CSSD certification, Shell’s certified operations must continue to adhere to CSSD’s Performance Standards, integrating CSSD’s publicly available best practices into its long-term continuous improvement processes. CSSD will monitor adherence and continue to build and expand on its initial 15 Performance Standards. CSSD officially opened its certification process in January 2014.
The Audit Process:
The evaluation and verification process was conducted by auditor Bureau Veritas, a global leader in testing, inspection and certification under contract to CSSD. The auditor conducted a pre-audit to familiarize itself with the company’s management system and determine audit readiness of operations.
The audit teams conducted full-scale certification audits starting in September 2014 at Shell’s SWEPI LP Appalachian operations. These audits consisted of in-depth documentation review, staff interviews at company’s offices and a field-based component that verified that operational practices were in conformance with applicable standards. CSSD’s Performance Verification Protocol details the frequency and intensity of the field and audit activities.
The Bureau Veritas audit team visited 17 Shell sites throughout Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
Once the audit was complete, Bureau Veritas, submitted its findings in a report to CSSD. CSSD’s internal Certification Decision Committee, consisting of individuals not aligned with any CSSD participant, then reviewed the audit report and determined eligibility for certification.
Certification is valid for 24 months, after which companies can seek renewal. During the 24-month period, there is at least one assurance audit to make sure conformance with the standards is being maintained. A summary of a completed audit report will be made accessible on CSSD’s web site – www.SustainableShale.org.
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