Environmental, Health, Safety and Security

Tallgrass cares about the health, safety and well-being of our employees, those who live and work in the communities we touch and the environment. Everything we do revolves around our strong commitment to these issues.

Safety is the most important foundational pillar at Tallgrass. It permeates everything we do. Our success, as a company and as a neighbor, depends on it. Our highly trained and experienced personnel monitor our pipelines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year so we have real-time information regarding the safety and integrity of our system. We have emergency shut-down systems that can isolate anomalies anywhere on our system quickly and safely, and we work regularly with first responders – using tools such as tabletop exercises and hands-on mock drills – to ensure they are familiar with our assets and know what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency. Our safety culture is guided by these core elements:

  • Emergency Response – Operating safely and responding quickly and efficiently to rare emergency situations is everyone’s responsibility at Tallgrass. We plan and prepare for incidents through a rigorous training program and by ensuring the necessary resources are readily available in the event of an incident anywhere on our system.
  • Our goal is zero unsafe behaviors – By focusing on behaviors and empowering every employee with Stop Work authority and an ingrained sense of responsibility around See Something, Say Something, we’re well positioned to address the root cause of incidents and all other accidents and near-miss events. We learn from those events and get better.
  • Systemwide integrity management planning – We always apply rigorous integrity management standards and procedures across all our facilities to ensure their safe operation and to protect the communities we touch – whether or not we’re required to from a regulatory perspective.
  • Stakeholder engagement – We have an ongoing and robust public awareness outreach program targeting first responders, community leaders and the general public in the vicinity of our facilities and operations. This program enables us to build relationships and foster a greater understanding of our business with stakeholders who live and work in and around the communities we touch. In the unlikely event of an incident, this program helps ensure a timely, safe and coordinated response by all.
  • Technology deployment – We constantly explore new and emerging technologies we can employ to help us remotely monitor and control all our infrastructure, using redundant communications to provide additional layers of protections to communities and personnel across our assets.

Along with safety and security, Tallgrass is committed to being a good steward of the environment and to doing what we can to transport energy in an environmentally friendly manner. We strive to meet or exceed all applicable environmental laws and regulations, and we hold our contractors to the same high standards that we set for ourselves. Our highly trained and experienced Environmental team are experts in environmental best practices and regulations. This group is the environmental conscience of Tallgrass, ensuring we do the right thing all the time, every time. Here are just a few examples of the care we take with our environment:

  • Minimizing Methane Emissions – We employ policy and procedures to voluntarily control methane emissions systemwide by replacing high-bleed natural gas-driven pneumatic controllers, detecting and fixing systemwide leaks quickly and efficiently, and reducing emissions from planned blowdown events whenever possible. As one example, we reduced lost and unaccounted for volumes on our natural gas gathering system from about 11 percent in 2017 when we purchased the assets to less than 2 percent in just two years.
  • Preserving Environmental Resources During Projects – We conduct an exhaustive identification and analysis of sensitive environmental receptors when planning and siting projects, and we use advanced construction techniques to mitigate environmental impacts. We don’t consider our jobs done until we’ve restored the environment at our project sites to their pre-construction condition or better.
  • Emergency Response – Operating safely and responding quickly and efficiently to rare emergency situations is everyone’s responsibility at Tallgrass. We plan and prepare for incidents through a rigorous training program and by ensuring the necessary resources are readily available in the event of an incident anywhere on our system.
  • The Environmental Partnership – Tallgrass is a member of The Environmental Partnership, an organization comprised of companies committed to continuously improve the industry’s environmental performance. Through our membership, Tallgrass has voluntarily committed to implement strategies and tactics designed to further reduce methane and volatile organic compound emissions across our assets using proven technologies.
  • Waste Heat Recovery – We’re actively working with the Blackstone Sustainability Group to assess systems, equipment, and processes to identify and implement changes to improve the overall efficiency and reliability of our assets. This review ranges from quick fixes such as simple HVAC system improvements to major equipment modifications like Waste Heat Recovery that has the potential to generate up to 197,000 MWh of energy annually from turbine generator waste heat alone. The waste heat recovery effort is modeled after an existing application at a Trailblazer compressor station where it has been operating successfully for more than 12 years. At that compressor station, exhaust heat from our turbines that would otherwise vent into the atmosphere is used to generate electricity and help Tri-State meet its renewable energy standards obligation – with virtually no emissions.
  • Reusing Produced Water and Minimizing Truck Traffic – Our water business, Tallgrass Water, is commercializing its Appalachia Water Infrastructure Network which will significantly reduce truck traffic while promoting the reuse of produced water – in turn reducing freshwater demand and disposal requirements. Tallgrass Water also is working with a major E&P company to develop a commercially viable water treatment system that allows produced water to be treated to a freshwater standard allowing for discharge or use in other industries. Tallgrass Water’s extensive water distribution and gathering pipelines across multiple basins helps keep trucks off the road, mitigating the substantially higher risk and environmental footprint of trucking.

We take our responsibility to protect the physical and cyber security of our assets extremely seriously. From a cyber security perspective, we have an expert team dedicated to protecting all our computer systems and data from attack with different defenses for our external, internal, and Industrial Control System presences. The security models in place are based on the NIST Cyber Security Framework, the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Best Practices, and the TSA Pipeline Security Guidelines. Understanding that no one tool or policy can protect our systems, we use a “defense-in-depth” approach and leverage a combination of cutting-edge and tried-and-true security tools and techniques to secure our environments.