Spills and Leaks

Why It Matters to Us

Management of material topic

In addition to impacting the environment, spills and leaks can adversely impact our landowner partners and lead to ecological damage, environmental fines, remediation costs, operational delays, and reputational risk. We recognize stakeholder concerns regarding the substances involved in a spill or leak and work diligently to avoid spills and leaks as well as mitigate the potential impacts on human and environmental health when a spill or leak occurs.

What We Are Doing

Management of material topic

We are committed to preventing spills and leaks to protect people, the environment, and our business. We take our approach to preventing and managing spills and leaks seriously by seeking to meet or exceed all local, state, and federal policies. If a spill or leak does occur, we aim to respond in an effective and timely manner. We outline all expectations related to spills and leaks to our employees and business partners as part of our Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Management System.


Our EHS team reports to our Vice President, EHS and oversees our compliance, spill prevention, and response activities. A member of this team and two backup individuals are always available to receive calls in the event of a spill. Our Vice President, EHS reports information on spills and leaks to the Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility (PPCR) Committee of the Board of Directors on a quarterly basis and to our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Committee periodically. In 2022, we began routing spills of less than 3 gallons from our emergency call center directly to our third-party remediation business partner. By doing so, the EHS members on call can focus on responding to larger, more impactful spills or leaks, should one occur. Directly routing small spills to our response partner allows for a more efficient and rapid small-spill response.

Spill and Leak Prevention

To reduce the likelihood and impact of significant spills or leaks, we maintain Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure plans for every worksite that stores fluid. These comprehensive plans, based on regulations established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), guide our employees and contractors to minimize the chance for a release and dictate the actions required should a spill or leak occur. The plans define training programs, inspection protocols, secondary containment monitoring, and repair programs required at each natural gas well and compressor station.

We deploy targeted strategies at each stage of our operations to prevent spills and leaks. We implement measures to monitor the risk of a spill or leak and to detect potential equipment failures, including installing pressure sensors and conducting onsite inspections. Our third-party inspectors look for and identify open or closed pad drains during operations and create a corrective action when applicable.

As we expand our produced water infrastructure system, we perform daily walks and inspections on the water system to confirm proper functionality and that there are no issues missed by our electronic monitoring equipment. We pay special attention to managing wastewater from our operations during production. The completion phase of our operations presents a risk for potential leaks due to the large volume of water onsite. To manage these risks, we deploy ongoing monitoring activities and use specialized spill containment and leak prevention equipment to reduce the risk of groundwater contamination. We host routine meetings with our water haulers to discuss performance and trends related to water hauler spills. For additional details, please see Water.

We hold our employees and contractors to ambitious standards for spill and leak prevention. We want everyone working on our behalf to take spill and leak prevention seriously and we continuously work to improve the training we provide. Our primary EHS program — Family, Obligation, Communication, Understanding, and Support (FOCUS) — promotes an overall culture of safety, including for spill and leak prevention. In addition to the annual EHS training required by all personnel at our locations, we require all our business partners to complete spill-specific training through our contractor management portal. This training covers methods to prevent, identify, contain, report, and safely control any releases encountered while working on EQT property. For additional details, please see Workforce Health and Safety.

 Spill and Leak Response

When a spill or leak is reported, we request photos and videos to immediately determine the magnitude of the spill, so that our Remediation team can promptly investigate the incident and determine an appropriate response. We strive to achieve a two-hour response time from our professional remediation company, regardless of the spill size. The Local Government and Community Affairs team is notified of every spill over 5 gallons. The team uses experience from training and input from the EHS team to determine the potential environmental and community impacts and associated procedure for stakeholder notification.

In the event of a spill or leak, we use appropriate cleanup techniques to mitigate the spill’s impacts, including removal of effluents from soil. We promptly remove and dispose of cleanup materials according to applicable federal, state, and local regulatory requirements to minimize the impact on the environment and local community. We then evaluate the cause of the spill or leak to identify and implement corrective action. We work to prevent repeat accidents by integrating improved techniques and protocols into design standards, operations, and future spill prevention plans. We share these with employees and contractors to continuously improve our operations. Additionally, we host frequent business partner meetings to discuss their spill and leak performance and make recommendations for improvement.

Our EHS Handbook describes our formal spill and leak prevention and mitigation expectations — including guidance on using and maintaining secondary containment to prevent spills and leaks, regularly inspecting equipment, reporting all spills and leaks to our Emergency Dispatch Center, and using a spill kit. Our emergency response and preparedness program requires the following actions in the event of an incident:

  • Determine the source and type of spill and begin taking corrective action;
  • Evacuate any employees requiring medical attention;
  • Isolate the area and stop the spill as soon as possible using appropriate methods;
  • Contain the spill with available resources — including containment ditches, diking, and spill kits complete with absorbent booms, pads, pillows, and personal protective equipment (we do not use chemical dispersants);
  • Report the spill through our Emergency Hotline, which notifies the relevant EHS Coordinator to determine appropriate remediation actions; and
  • Perform, or observe, proper cleanup measures as directed by the EHS Coordinator.

Our EHS team meets weekly with our Production Engineering team to review and identify leading indicators for potential spills from the prior week. For each incident, we have a Significant Incident Review meeting to discuss what happened, why it happened, and how we plan to prevent a similar future occurrence. Additionally, as part of our company policy, we hire professional service contractors to manage all spills and leaks associated with our operations. We follow up with contractors involved to better understand the incident and discuss our expectations. We then share these findings with other operations and business partners to prevent future occurrences.

In 2022, we began to consolidate and streamline our emergency response and preparedness program to increase the efficiency of spills and leak identification, remediation, and reporting. Utilizing our digital work environment, we generate dedicated spill and leak reports to notify appropriate personnel of a spill and to provide our professional remediation contractors with access to these reports. This enables contractors to upload status updates and appropriate documentation into one centralized system, allowing for more cohesive tracking and reporting of spills. This centralized system allows multiple departments, operational groups, support groups, and business partners to be informed from the time an incident is first reported through corrective action and closure.

During quarterly meetings with our contractors, we provide examples of real-life incidents to help prevent future spills or leaks. In 2022, we gathered more than 800 business partners for an EHS Summit where we discussed incidents and lessons learned and fielded questions from those in attendance. Our Chief Executive Officer presented at the summit and leadership from each of our operational groups attended.

How We Are Doing

Management of material topic
SASB EM-EP-160a.2
Number and aggregate volume of hydrocarbon spills, volume in Arctic, volume impacting shorelines with ESI rankings 8-10, and volume recovered
SASB EM-EP-160a.2

We actively work to improve our process for managing spills and leaks. Members of our EHS team periodically perform proactive environmental inspections on all our well sites. Our EHS team performed 1,865 proactive inspections in 2022. We distribute among our employees and contractors our hotline number for reporting spills and leaks and strongly emphasize spill reporting regardless of size or quantity — even down to the size of a quarter. We also continue to require water haulers to obtain water from cellars and secondary containment before accessing produced water tanks. In doing so, we aim for proactive management of our cellars and containments, reducing the number of separate dispatches needed from water trucks to manage fluid levels. This procedure has led to a significant decrease in secondary containment compliance violations.

We also host a quarterly roundtable to discuss a broad set of topics, including spill and leak performance. In 2022, we began a series of roundtable events dedicated to water hauling where a portion of the discussion was dedicated to spill performance and mitigation. We invited our peers in the Appalachian Basin to participate in the roundtable events to discuss key topics such as equipment failures and process improvements. In 2022, we held four such roundtable discussions.

We do not operate in the Arctic and, therefore, we had no spills that impacted the Arctic or shorelines with Environmentally Sensitive Index rankings 8 to 10.[1]

Reportable Spills Resulting in a Release[2]












Hydrocarbon release >1 barrels of oil (BBL; 1 BOE)







Non-hydrocarbon releases >1 BBL (1 BOE)







Total spills resulting in release >1 BBL (1 BOE)







Total hydrocarbon spills







Total non-hydrocarbon spills







Total Spills Resulting in Release







[1] The scope of spills to environmentally sensitive shorelines include spills to water that reached the soil or spills directly to the soil of shorelines with Environmentally Sensitive Index levels 8 through 10, where levels are defined according to U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s shoreline sensitivity rankings list.

[2] Includes reportable spills and volumes outside containment.

[3] 2021 includes the high estimated range from a subsurface produced water leak associated with a gas processing unit (GPU) disposal line at one of our well pad sites located in Washington County, Pennsylvania, which we discovered in December 2021.Site characterization of the release is currently ongoing. Our initial findings show that, due to the age of the wells, the released produced water contained only elevated levels of chlorides, with no evidence of other fracturing chemicals. As a result, while some vegetation and aquatic life may have been impacted, initial tests suggest that these impacts, if any, were minor. This lack of distressed vegetation around the site and subsurface nature of the release impacted our ability to identify the release through earlier on-site inspection. We self-reported the release to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and are continuing to work cooperatively with PADEP to complete a thorough assessment of this matter. We intend to initiate remediation of the impacted area according to PADEP guidelines.

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