In 2014, Williams partnered with The Conservation Fund to develop an environmental stewardship program to protect and enhance the natural environment in the area surrounding its proposed Atlantic Sunrise project. The stewardship program was purely voluntary and not designed to supplant traditional compensatory mitigation required by permitting agencies to address resource impacts.
As a result of this partnership, The Southern Gas Association (SGA) awarded Williams with the 2017 SGA Environmental Excellence Award. The award was presented during the opening General Session of the SGA Environmental, Safety & Health, and Training Conference June 13 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
According to SGA, the Environmental Excellence award is designed to recognize companies that have made significant impacts in protecting the environment by supporting environmental programs on the job or in the community.
The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit dedicated to finding conservation solutions that balance environmental and economic needs, partnered with Williams to identify the resources most in need of enhancement and/or protection in the Atlantic Sunrise project area in eastern Pennsylvania. This process included hosting a series of focus groups to identify potential stewardship opportunities. Ultimately, this process generated 539 proposals from various environmental or conservation organizations. These proposals generally focused on three primary target areas: aquatic restoration, trail enhancement, and nutrient management.
After carefully evaluating all of the proposals, Williams and the Conservation Fund selected 17 conservation projects that received more than $2.5 million in program funding. These projects resulted in the restoration of more than 10 miles of wildlife habitat along streams, the construction of eight miles of new trails in central and southeastern Pennsylvania, and the prevention of thousands of pounds of harmful nutrients from entering Pennsylvania waterways.