New Shale Drilling Initiative Announces Performance Standards

The Center for Sustainable Shale Development (“CSSD”), a newly formed independent organization supporting best practices, announced 15 new performance standards for operators in the oil and gas industry. The CSSD will offer an independent, third-party evaluation process to certify companies that achieve and maintain these standards. The Post-Gazette reports that the standards address the protection of air, water and climate by implementing: (i) limitations on gas well flaring; (ii) requirements to use “green completion” activities; (iii) storage tank emission controls; (iv) development of groundwater protection plans; (v) reduction of toxicity of fracking fluids; and (vi) improvement of water recycling to at least 90 percent. The certification process, including a plan for comprehensive third-party auditing, is currently in development, and the CSSD anticipated accepting applications for certification later this year.