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New API Guidance Boosts Species and Habitat Conservation

The natural gas and oil industry is committed to implementing good practices to further enhance species and habitat conservation while continuing to provide the reliable energy that consumers demand.

As an illustration of that commitment, API has developed new conservation guidance that builds on existing initiatives and practices as part of the industry’s continuous effort to improve operations and reduce its environmental footprint.

Bulletin 4565, “Species and Habitat Conservation: Industry Fundamentals,” is a first-edition document focused on species and habitat conservation for U.S. onshore natural gas and oil exploration and production facilities.

Many operators already apply conservation practices in their operations, including environmental site screening and baseline environmental surveys. This is in addition to following state, federal and local regulations. Incorporating widely used conservation measures, Bulletin 4565 bolsters these efforts by providing an overview of how companies can consider conservation in the planning and execution of conventional and shale operations, including information on technologies, practices and processes.

Bulletin 4565 is intended to provide additional opportunities for operators to incorporate existing conservation practices into their operations. It also gives operators flexibility for adapting strategies in recognition that companies operate under varying environmental settings.

Anchal Liddar, API senior vice president of Global Industry Services:

“This first-edition document illustrates our industry’s commitment to providing the reliable energy consumers demand while protecting the communities and environment where our operators live and work.  Recognizing the importance of responsibly developing our nation’s abundant resources, Bulletin 4565 builds on current operational practices to help companies further identify and mitigate potential impacts on wildlife and habitat during exploration and production.”

In other industry segments, API is also leading the way to promote conservation. Earlier this year, API released its "Conservation Guidelines for Pipeline Rights-of-Way" (ROW), which provides guidelines, resources and strategies for pipeline operators to use in developing and managing conservation programs for pipeline ROW and assets.

The milestone document contributes to broader efforts to develop several conservation and community engagement resources, including industry-led conservation programs.

With more than 2.7 million miles of pipeline across the United States, the “Midstream Conservation Program” (MCP) helps participating companies create long-term habitat or vegetation management plans for the lands within their pipeline ROWs and facilities. Ranging from rights-of-way several yards wide to pipeline easements spanning several thousand miles, pipeline operations provide new opportunities to connect fragmented landscapes throughout the country to benefit wildlife habitats.

Partnering with conservation organizations like Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, the MCP helps companies create habitats, boost wildlife populations and support a wide range of environmental benefits across the pipeline ROW landscape. These partnerships will help unlock the full potential and diversity of an estimated 12 million acres of pipeline rights-of-way and facilities, including creating habitat that is critical for pheasants, quail, pollinators, monarch butterflies and songbirds, while also helping improve water quality and sequestering carbon.

API and the industry are committed to being good stewards of the environment while meeting growing energy demand, whether through conservation guidance and programs, API Energy Excellence® or the development of world-class standards that help enhance safety, sustainability, health and operations. 


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