Shapiro Administration and Leading Natural Gas Company CNX Resources Announce First-of-its-Kind Collaboration on Environmental Monitoring and Chemical Disclosures
November 02, 2023
Governor Shapiro fulfills promise he made as Attorney General to advance commonsense measures to defend public health and safety while protecting jobs in the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh-area company advancing ‘radical transparency’ monitoring and disclosure program to provide fact-based, comprehensive health response for Pennsylvanians.
In addition to the requirements of an already robust regulatory framework, CNX’s voluntary commitments further Governor Shapiro’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, cementing PA’s place as an energy leader while protecting public health.
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro and CNX Resources Corporation (NYSE: CNX) President and CEO Nick Deiuliis announced a historic commitment that will further heighten the company’s operational disclosures in collaboration with state environmental regulators and the public, furthering a promise Governor Shapiro made as Attorney General to advance commonsense measures that prioritize public health and safety and ensure the natural gas industry is performing its work in line with the highest standards.
CNX, a major natural gas producer based in Canonsburg, is leading the oil and gas industry by implementing a program to definitively measure emissions and heighten chemical disclosure, while voluntarily enhancing setbacks for new wells near sensitive sites during the data collection phase. These actions, which address several recommendations of the 43rd Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, demonstrate how industry, government, and public advocates can find common ground and collaborate to keep people safe and move Pennsylvania forward.
Through CNX and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s groundbreaking collaboration, DEP will be able to conduct the most intensive independent study of unconventional natural gas wells in the nation. CNX will provide DEP with unprecedented access to two future CNX well sites, allowing for in-depth independent monitoring of the air emissions at both locations before, during, and after development of the new wells. This will make it possible for communities to understand the facts about natural gas development with more transparency than ever before.
As part of this collaboration, CNX will also collect and transparently report, in real-time via a public website, air quality data beginning with its NV110 producing well pad located in East Finley Township, Washington County, and expanding to its facilities in all phases of well development through six months of the production phase. The company intends to expand elements of this monitoring and disclosure across its Pennsylvania operational footprint.
“My Administration is setting a new standard for Pennsylvania’s natural gas to be produced in the most responsible and sustainable way anywhere in the world and showing that we can get things done by collaborating,” said Governor Shapiro. “As Attorney General and now as Governor, I have listened to the voices of Pennsylvanians concerned about their health and safety and I’m delivering on the promise I made to them to secure these protections. With this collaboration, CNX is leading the industry in showing how we can reduce pollution and ensure the health and safety of our communities while still maintaining Pennsylvania’s central role in the nation’s energy economy.”
“In place of endless speculation and dueling rhetoric, CNX seeks to change this paradigm by open-sourcing facts, science, and data to all stakeholders and creating mutual trust which can serve as the basis for cooperation and real environmental and economic progress in the Commonwealth,” said Nick Deiuliis. “This unprecedented approach to operational transparency is good for resident health, the industry worker, economic development, energy security, the environment, and community investment. We aim to lead the natural gas industry into a new era of sustainable domestic energy production, and that effort begins with this historic collaboration.”
Specifics of this historic collaboration include:
- CNX will engage in intensive air and water quality monitoring to accurately assess environmental impacts. The Administration will follow the facts and data provided through this air and water quality monitoring, along with all other relevant facts and data, to inform the necessity of any additional setbacks or other future policy changes.
- CNX will voluntarily expand its no-drill zones in Pennsylvania from the required 500 feet to 600 feet for all sites and increase them to 2,500 feet for sensitive sites including schools and hospitals while data is collected.
- CNX will publicly disclose all chemicals intended to be used in drilling and hydraulic fracturing before they are used on site;
- Supporting the regulation of any gathering lines, as sought by DEP to inspect for corrosion;
- Supporting, in conjunction with third party waste haulers, additional safety measures for the transport of waste from unconventional well sites;
- CNX will provide open-sourced, real-time emissions facts and data to all stakeholders including industry workers, community members, state and local government, and other interested parties informing a comprehensive health response regarding natural gas development in Pennsylvania;
- CNX will refrain from hiring Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection employees from regional offices covering CNX operational areas for two years after those employees leave the Department.
Governor Shapiro has separately instructed the Department of Environmental Protection to take immediate action to pursue formal rulemakings and policy changes›, including: new requirements for the disclosure of chemicals used in drilling, improved control of methane emissions aligned with forthcoming federal policy, stronger drilling waste protections, including inspection of secondary containment, and corrosion protections for gathering lines that transport natural gas.
This announcement is a next step in the Shapiro Administration’s continuing work to address climate change and protect Pennsylvanians’ Constitutional right to clean air and pure water.
Governor Shapiro recently announced that Pennsylvania is the only state in the country to secure two regional clean hydrogen hub projects, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program. The two hubs will create more than 41,000 total good-paying jobs between them and ensure Pennsylvania continues to be an energy leader for decades to come.
Earlier this year, the Shapiro Administration announced an updated environmental justice policy, which expanded the criteria to better include concerns of Pennsylvania communities most at risk from pollution and other environmental impacts and created an updated mapping tool that allows DEP to more accurately identify which communities qualify for environmental justice protections.
Read more about the historic collaboration here.
Governor’s Press Office, email@example.com
Brian Aiello, CNX, BrianAiello@cnx.com