Recognizing the critical role biodiversity — species, habitats and ecosystems — plays in sustainability, we work to minimize our surface and ecosystem impacts.

We account for stewardship and biodiversity protection at every stage of our operations, from site assessment to well closure. We refrain from operating in protected areas whenever feasible and work to identify risks and mitigation plans to limit degradation and disturbance of ecosystems and habitats.

Our Approach to Biodiversity and Land Stewardship Protection


Before starting construction, we conduct a comprehensive site assessment of the proposed location, from its geography and topography to the potential existence of sensitive wildlife habitat, cultural resources, residences and other public-occupied sites.

We prioritize the selection of the least sensitive project location and design the project to avoid impacts to receptors, when possible.


We work closely with stakeholder groups to coordinate site planning, obtain necessary permits and protect any areas or species of concern.

Our focus is to mitigate and minimize our environmental impact by reducing our project or pad site footprint, re-routing access roads or adjusting the timing of construction activities.


We will replace, enhance, restore or provide substitute resources for impacts that remain after avoidance and minimization measures have been applied.

More Production, Less Impact: Benefits of Multi-Well Pad Sites

Multi-well pad sites are central to our operational strategy, improving efficiencies while limiting environmental and biodiversity impacts.

  • Less surface disturbance
  • Reduced truck traffic
  • Reduced truck emissions
  • Decreased waste generation
  • Reduced spill likelihood

Site Assessment

Our site assessment process includes both a desktop and field review to identify the presence or absence of sensitive receptors.

Aquatic Resources and Floodplains


Community Impact

Historical and Cultural Resources

We strive to go above and beyond compliance requirements. This means flagging any sensitivities within the proposed physical limits of disturbance (LOD) of our operations, plus a minimum of 100 feet beyond the LOD.

Site Assessment Procedures

Desktop Review

  • Determine asset location and set LOD
  • Assess current and historical aerial photography, USGS topographic maps and National Wetland Inventory maps to flag potential issues
  • Identify any federal and state-listed threatened, endangered or sensitive species, and specific migratory birds and habitats
  • Determine 100-year floodplain boundaries and any cultural or historical properties in the area
  • Forward findings for a field review

Field Review

  • Pinpoint potential environmental or cultural habitats via a field visit
  • Locate sensitive receptors within the asset area
  • Share results with corporate team


  • Collaborate with team on findings and determine if the construction site could impact the ecosystem or culturally-sensitive surroundings
  • Obtain environmental permits, if required before beginning construction
  • Redesign, move or adjust construction timing to ensure the surrounding environment will be protected
  • Track assessment results in a comprehensive database

Recognizing that our operational activity can impact birds, bats and their habitats, we developed an Avian and Bat Protection Plan to supplement our compliance with key wildlife laws. These clear and consistent procedures are meant to proactively minimize impacts and address concerns.

Decommissioning and Site Restoration

After completing site operations, we work to restore the site to its approximate original topographic condition, planting native seed mixes and vegetation to further promote the biodiversity of the area. In addition to meeting all regulatory plugging and restoration requirements, we partner with site owners to accommodate their preferences for their land. We continue site monitoring until we have secured both landowner and regulatory approval of our restoration efforts.

Each state regulates this process differently and Chesapeake follows applicable rules when managing inactive wells. Many regulations require a series of cement plugs placed inside the wellbore, across any hydrocarbon-bearing formations and freshwater aquifers. Testing is also often required to confirm there is no escape of hydrocarbon-containing materials.

At a facility’s end-of-life, we work to reuse or recycle as much of the equipment as possible. Any equipment that is eligible for reuse is inspected thoroughly before being placed back in our inventory. All surface equipment is NORM-tested prior to removal and disposal. Any equipment not eligible for reuse is sold for scrap materials or disposed of according to regulatory requirements. We calculate and track costs associated with plugging and abandoning a well, restoration activities and permit closures.

In our Marcellus operations, regulatory agencies review and approve plugging procedures, conduct routine inspections of our operations during the process, have technical requirements that we follow, and inspect the well prior to the final capping activity to help ensure no gas is present.

Back to Top