Tracking and accounting for our waste is an area of continuous improvement for the company.

We use a custom web application called Point to Point to track our hauled water and waste streams used throughout a well’s lifecycle. Through this app’s database, a monthly report is prepared and distributed to operational and HSE leadership for each business unit noting the volume and cost of the solid waste generated. By building awareness, we challenge each business unit to reduce its waste production to minimize landfilling,

Hauled Waste by Category

Waste Material(1)Hauled Waste (%)
Processing / recycled facility fluid95%
Containment fluid4%
Drill cuttings1%

(1) Data represents waste tracked in Point to Point for the 2020 calendar year

Each operating area has a waste management plan that lists wastes generated, the characterization of the wastes in that jurisdiction, on-site management requirements and best practices, and approved waste disposal vendors. Each plan is reviewed and updated at least annually to address changes to state regulations, operations and vendor capacity.

As an example, one of our operating areas needed to add on-site compression to several production locations. This operational decision added a new waste stream to the business unit’s waste plan. HSER waste specialists characterized the waste and worked with operations personnel to develop on-site management procedures, including choosing the most appropriate type of disposal.

Reducing Waste

Our Waste and Operations teams consider innovative solutions for reducing or recycling waste to limit our environmental impact. Our teams have adopted the:

  • Treatment and reuse of produced water in operations 
  • Recovery of waste petroleum hydrocarbon liquids and sludges or energy 
  • Treatment and then use of materials for road base or mulch 
  • Implementation of closed loop drilling systems to reduce waste and enhance fluid reuse
  • Use of wastes to conduct elementary neutralization
  • Development of an eco-office exchange program to redeploy surplus office supplies

Hazardous Waste

While waste characterization and management can vary from state to state, Chesapeake is required under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to properly characterize all waste we generate. 

According to the RCRA, active facilities are given a “generator status” based on their monthly rates of hazardous waste generation, and Chesapeake facilities have been designated as Very Small Quantity Generators. In 2020, we generated approximately 1,200 pounds of RCRA hazardous waste — less than 1% of the company’s total waste.

NORM Waste

The disposal of waste containing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) is highly specialized, requiring proper handling, removal and transport procedures. While the radioactivity emitted from the sediments on production equipment is a fraction of regulated radiation worker dose limits, Chesapeake follows the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) radiation production standard to minimize exposure. 

Our HSER and Operations teams partner to measure the level of NORM on all locations using specialized radiation survey equipment. We then use this data to implement appropriate safe work practices, including the use of specially licensed and trained professionals for handling and disposal. 

All Chesapeake locations that generate, process or dispose of produced water are surveyed regularly to properly identify and manage accumulations of NORM.

NORM Procedures

Employee Training
Worker Protective Equipment
Transitional Storage

Business Waste Recycling

Beyond operational site waste, our business functions produce a limited amount of electronic and battery waste. It’s our intention to recycle these materials by partnering with entities that specialize in disposing these types of products. For example, we collect batteries on our corporate campus and in our field locations before sending them to a national collection firm for recycling and recovery of usable materials.

Our electronic waste recycling vendor repurposes reusable IT equipment and parts, recycling any non-usable assets. This process also includes comprehensive data destruction and protection of company assets while preparing the equipment for additional use. Our vendor maintains certifications related to IT asset disposition and recycling, including R2(2), ISO 9001(3), ISO 14001(4) and OHSAS 18001(5).

In 2020 we reduced waste on our corporate campus by:

  • Recycling more than 180,000 pounds of paper
  • Reusing office supplies and equipment through our eco-office exchange
  • Reclaiming and recycling aerosol can elements to avoid disposing as hazardous waste
  • Recycling batteries of all types (from traditional household use to more specialized)

(2) R2 is the leading global standard for electronics reuse and recycling. The R2 standard establishes best practices for data security, environmental protection, worker safety, and transparency. 
(3) ISO 9001 is the globally recognized standard for a quality management system.
(4) ISO 14001 is globally recognized as a standard for environmental management systems, ensuring environmental impacts are analyzed and minimized.
(5) OHSAS 18001 is a management system standard specifically focused on identifying and mitigating hazards to worker health and safety.

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