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Earth Day the CNX Way

Celebrating a year of environmental accomplishments

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By Positive Energy Hub Staff

As communities across the world celebrate Earth Day and the importance of environmental conservation, we are all encouraged to "make every day Earth Day." The CNX team works tirelessly to protect and enhance the environment where we operate, provide low-emissions energy, and invest in projects and technologies that provide the energy society needs. Since last Earth Day, with our Appalachia First strategic vision lighting the way, we've intensified those efforts like never before.

Data Driven Environmental Monitoring

Last year CNX introduced the most extensive environmental monitoring and disclosure program for natural gas development in the nation. The historic collaboration with Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro is simultaneously providing the PA Department of Environmental Protection and CNX raw environmental data collected by third parties on development sites before, during, and after natural gas development. This data is also available to the public in real time on our Radical Transparency website, CNXRadicalTransparency.com.

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To date, nine natural gas sites have been added to the program with more monitoring established every month. Additionally, CNX Vice President of Environmental Strategy Carrie Crumpton has posted regular updates in her Context Corner blog to help stakeholders understand the data and provide insights into how things like emissions and particulate matter in the air are measured. To date, air quality at all natural gas development sites monitored have shown levels far below the National Ambient Air Quality Standard, confirming that CNX is producing Pennsylvania natural gas safely and responsibly from an air quality perspective.

Water Conservation

Water plays a critical role in natural gas development, and CNX has invested heavily in infrastructure to reuse water from our operations many times over. This reduces the impact on local water tables and minimizes truck traffic. With approximately 97% of water from our core operating areas being reused, we have removed tens of thousands of trucks from roadways in recent years, avoiding transportation related emissions in our communities in the process.

Our investment in water infrastructure continued recently with the Kiski water line project, a $20 million investment in northern Westmoreland County that will serve CNX operations in the area, and serve as a community water infrastructure asset in the future. The water line has the potential to supplement the Beaver Run Reservoir, to maintain normal service during seasonally dry periods, and mitigate drought and residential conservation risk in the area. The project provides the potential to significantly improve area water resource resilience in northern Westmoreland County.

Reducing Methane Emissions

Natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin produces the lowest methane emission intensity of any major producing basin in the United States, and CNX’s Emission Reduction Task Force consistently looks for opportunities to further reduce our overall emissions footprint.

From 2020 through the end of 2023, CNX produced enough energy to power 6.5 million homes per year while reducing operational methane intensity by 52% in our production segment and 31% in our gathering and boosting segment. In 2024, we are continuing our methane reduction efforts by spending an additional $5 million on similar projects, with expected annualized reductions of over 85,000 tons of CO2e.

CNX also reduces methane emissions from other industries through our waste methane abatement initiatives. Methane emissions from coal mining activities represent nearly 10% of all U.S. methane emissions. We capture approximately 5.7 million tons of waste methane annually, which is significantly more methane than we emit from our operating activities. In the case of coal mine methane (CMM), routine mine safety procedures require methane to be vented before activities can begin. Rather than releasing it to the atmosphere, CNX captures, processes, and transports waste methane to market for beneficial use.

Harnessing Waste Energy

Waste methane capture from coal mines and other sources represents a major opportunity for emission reduction efforts nationwide. It's also a critical potential feedstock for producing clean hydrogen. CNX recently testified on its importance to the 45V Hydrogen Production Tax Credit included in the President's Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

Another way we are reducing emissions is by powering our operations with onsite sources. In 2023, CNX partnered with ICE Thermal Harvesting to pilot a program at one of CNX's compressor stations that captures heat produced at the station and uses it to power operations on site. The thermal energy is 100% emissions-free. The pilot proved successful throughout the year, and in 2024 we are planning to expand this program to additional compressor stations.

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Harnessing CNG Power

CNX is also working to reduce emissions of the water trucks that remain on the road supporting drilling and completions activity. Last year, CNX and Force Environmental Solutions introduced the first water trucks fueled 100% by compressed natural gas (CNG). Compared to tailpipe emissions from traditional fuels, CNG emits 30% less carbon dioxide, 90% less NOx, and 42% less sulfur oxide (SOx), while generating a 50% reduction in costs.

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Hitting the Road with the Cleanest “Gas”
The first CNX 100% CNG water hauling tanker officially went into service this week, expanding clean fuel use in the Appalachian region.

Locally Sourced

Our CNG program epitomizes the "produce it here, use it here – first" philosophy tied to our Appalachia First strategy. We believe that harnessing the abundant resources of our region and maximizing their use within Appalachia is the path to greatest efficiency. When resources like CNG are produced and used in a hyper-local setting, it lessens emissions associated with the traditional supply chain in addition to reducing emissions on the trucks themselves. We are currently expanding this model within our operations and beyond. Stay tuned for additional announcements throughout the year.

When we say "produce it here, use it here first," we're applying that same model of efficiency for energies like CNG, LNG, thermal, hydrogen, and electricity derived from natural gas to industries from aviation to zero-emissions power.

Individual Impacts

Our employees have opportunities to make individual impacts via our many partners throughout the region. Whether it's helping Tree Pittsburgh plant 400 trees, employee-led workdays collecting trash from around local lakes, installing bat houses to help conserve the regional bat population, or our ongoing partnership with Western Pennsylvania Conservancy maintaining regional green spaces, our employees continue to step up their commitment to the environment where they live and work.

As we celebrate Earth Day, we're proud to recognize these efforts and continue increasing our investment in the Appalachian region.


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About Positive Energy Hub

A CNX news hub highlighting all aspects of our Appalachia First vision. Subscribe for insights on energy innovation, advocacy, and community engagement across the region.