Equitable Origin, an independent standards and certification organization, releases draft standards for responsible shale development operations that minimize impacts on people and the environment.
Submitted by: Equitable Origin
Posted: Mar 16, 2015 – 07:39 AM EST
NEW YORK, Mar. 16 /CSRwire/ - The first independent social and environmental standards for oil and natural gas operations that use hydraulic fracturing (fracking) are available for public review and comment, Equitable Origin (EO) announced today. The published document is the first draft of international voluntary standards for responsible practices by shale oil and gas developers designed to reduce risks to communities and the environment while facilitating transparency and stakeholder engagement. Once finalized, the standards will be used by independent auditors to certify shale oil and gas operations under the EO System.
“The shale boom enabled by fracking and new technologies has profoundly affected communities and environments in positive and negative ways, making it one of today’s most pressing and polarizing issues,” stated EO President and Co-Founder David Poritz. “Equitable Origin is not ‘pro-fracking’ or ‘anti-fracking,’—we simply want to make the fracking operations already happening or about to happen more responsible and accountable. Our goal is to develop the strongest set of performance standards for responsible fracking yet proposed for the industry; standards that will highlight and incentivize best industry practices, provide a tool for communities to engage with companies, and minimize environmental impacts. We’re excited to be taking this crucial first step toward that goal.”
Equitable Origin is the world’s only independent standards and certification system exclusively for oil and gas operations. Founded in 2009, EO developed the groundbreaking EO100™ Standard for socially and environmentally responsible conventional, onshore oil and gas exploration and production. EO certified the first production site to the EO100 Standard—two oil fields in Colombia operated by Pacific Rubiales Energy that produce 250,000 barrels per day—in August 2014. The draft EO100 for Shale Oil & Gas Operations is an addendum to the EO100 Standard and addresses shale development impact areas such as water use, community health and safety, and air quality. Publication of the draft standards marks the beginning of a 60-day public comment period to collect input on how to make them clearer and more comprehensive. Any individual or organization interested in shale development is invited to participate by reviewing the EO100 Standard, the EO100 for Shale Oil & Gas Operations, and submitting comments to shalestandards[at]equitableorigin.com.
After the 60-day public comment period ends on May 15, Equitable Origin will continue to collect advice and comments on the draft document from experts in human rights, community development, ecology, water quality, and other areas covered by the standards. EO will also seek input from communities in North America who have been affected by shale development operations. “The development of the EO100 Standard was a process rooted in engagement and consultation with communities,” explained Equitable Origin Vice President of Standards and Stakeholder Engagement Soledad Mills. “We will take the same approach to developing this addendum as we work toward effective, fair, and transparent standards for responsible shale development.”
Community groups interested in in-person consultation workshops to comment on the draft standards and learn more about Equitable Origin’s site certification process should email contact[at]equitableorigin.com for more information.
About Equitable Origin
Equitable Origin (www.equitableorigin.com) is an innovative stakeholder-based certification system for the oil and gas industry that promotes higher social and environmental standards, greater transparency, and more accountability in oil and gas exploration and production operations. Equitable Origin is located in Bogota, Colombia and New York City.