The voluntary Methane Challenge is one of the key elements of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan announced in March 2014. As a part of this partnership, Dominion has committed to voluntarily reducing and publicly disclosing methane emission reductions from its interstate natural gas pipeline and distribution companies over the next five years.
“By participating in this program, Dominion will continue to demonstrate a leadership position to achieve sustainable environmental improvements while at the same time operating our businesses in a safe and reliable manner,” said, Diane Leopold, president, Dominion Energy. “Reducing methane emissions is a positive step for the environment, for our customers and for our business.”
Dominion’s local distribution companies — Dominion East Ohio and Dominion Hope — operate more than 22,000 miles of natural gas pipeline and serve 1.3 million customers in Ohio and West Virginia. Dominion Transmission’s system operates 7,800 miles of interstate pipeline in six states and one of the largest natural gas storage systems in the U.S.
Dominion’s distribution companies will implement a program to measure and report methane reductions achieved as a result of its aggressive replacement program covering approximately 5,700 miles of remaining bare steel, cast iron and ineffectively coated-steel pipelines on gas mains and service lines. Combined, both companies will invest more than $4 billion to complete pipeline infrastructure replacements.
Dominion Transmission plans to reduce methane emissions by enhancing the process related to gas lost from pipelines that occurs during planned maintenance activities.
EPA announced the voluntary methane reduction program last July, which covers the entire natural gas sector from production to customer delivery. The program is the next generation of EPA’s Natural Gas STAR program, with more emphasis on transparency and increased reporting for both annual emissions and reductions achieved through implementation of measures. Dominion Transmission, Dominion East Ohio and Dominion Hope are part of EPA’s Natural Gas STAR program.