Certification Program Open for Business

The Center for Sustainable Shale Development’s independent, third-party certification and verification program is now accepting applicants.

Learn More – January 21, 2014 Teleconference

CSSD’s Andrew Place discusses plans for audits of shale developers and the impact these audits could have on the regulatory discussion. Watch Video

Certification Process Overview

Certification is based on the Center’s 15 initial performance standards that were developed to reflect leading industry practices. Companies can seek certifications in Air & Climate, Water & Waste, or both, concurrently. The key components of the comprehensive verification and certification process include:

Performance Standards

  1. 15 Initial Performance Standards – Focused on the protection of air and climate, water and waste.

Verification and Certification

  1. Auditor Qualification and Accreditation – These documents establish the requirements for impartiality, knowledge, skill and resources to meet the scope, scale and geography of operations being evaluated.
  2. Guidance for Third-Party Auditors – Guidance for auditors details the specific measures that must be met to provide assurance the producer is operating in conformance to CSSD’s 15 performance standards; including specific instruction on the kinds of data, reporting and documentation producers must provide.
  3. Producer Performance Verification Protocol – The producer verification protocol sets out the frequency and intensity of the field and office audit process; providing for extensive document review, on-site visits and follow-up activities.

CSSD Performance Standards

Audits and Reports

CSSD Certified Companies are required to adhere to CSSD’s 15 initial Performance Standards in the Appalachian Basin region, integrating CSSD’s publicly available leading practices into the company’s long-term continuous improvement process.  Conformance to the standards is monitored through the life of the two-year certification period for each company.

Certification requires that program participants undergo a full re-certification audit every 24 months.

The Center’s standards are not intended to replace regulation.  Its focus is to identify environmental stewardship areas where we can define standards that meet or exceed the requirements of existing regulation, and to ensure that companies that qualify for certification continue to maintain these standards.

CSSD has made a commitment to transparency by including public audit summary reports that were prepared by the independent certification auditor.

Public summary reports that detail individual review and evaluation audits can be found here. Click on the company name below to view the report in PDF format.