The Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD) has developed 15 initial performance standards for operators that are protective of air quality, water resources and climate. These standards represent consensus on what is achievable and protective of human health and the environment.

As these standards are put into practice, CSSD will learn from these adaptations and is committed to adopting further innovations of value, which will be incorporated into revised standards as appropriate.

Air & Climate Performance Standards

CSSD’s air and climate performance standards focus on the following key areas:

  • Limitations on Flaring
  • Use of Green Completions
  • Reduced Engine Emissions
  • Emissions Controls on Storage Tanks

Surface & Ground Water Performance Standards

CSSD’s water performance standards focus on the following key areas:

  • Maximizing Water Recycling
  • Development of Groundwater Protection Plan
  • Closed Loop Drilling
  • Well Casing Design
  • Groundwater Monitoring
  • Wastewater Disposal
  • Impoundment Integrity
  • Reduced Toxicity Fracturing Fluid

Performance Standard 1 Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) Testing Program
Performance Standard 1 Effluent Monitoring Program

CSSD Performance Standards

The CSSD Performance Standards were developed to drive leading industry practices and to set a bar that goes above and beyond the regulatory requirements established by Appalachian states (specifically, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia) and the federal government.  The goal is to ensure that each performance standard, on the whole, requires a level of environmental performance that exceeds the regulatory minimums established by the states and the federal government. We believe that by setting this high bar, CSSD serves as a complement to strong regulatory frameworks and can help inform ongoing efforts to ensure environmental protection. 
Just as operator field performance and regulatory frameworks must undergo a process of continuous improvement, so will the CSSD performance standards.  With input from operators, regulators, CSSD auditors, environmental groups and other stakeholders, the CSSD Standards Committee will regularly review the performance standards – adding new standards over time, and updating the existing standards to ensure they continue to drive leading practices.

Comparison Table – Performance Standards and Regulatory Standards Across the Appalachian Basin