Biodiversity and Land Use

Energy development is essential for economic growth and the continued development of modern society. As energy development grows to meet the needs of our society, we must be aware of how biodiversity may be impacted by this development. At Crestwood, we are working to minimize our impacts, reduce habitat disturbances, and integrate biodiversity conservation efforts into land use management.


The Land Use and Environmental Project Permitting department, with support from the ESR team, manages Crestwood’s land use practices, including protecting the biodiversity of the areas where we operate. Protecting a habitat or species requires stakeholder inclusion and collaboration. Our teams regularly work with government entities such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, National Parks Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as state and local permitting and wildlife management agencies. Regardless of the location, our philosophy is to meet, if not exceed, expectations set by any state or federal regulators.

As a midstream oil and gas company, our operations have an inherent risk of adverse impacts on the environment, such as habitat disturbances due to pipeline construction. To mitigate these risks, our design and construction teams adopt engineering practices and routing criteria to reduce our impact. We also use biodiversity offsets in areas where land disturbances are unavoidable. The two kinds of offsets we pursue are:

  1. Direct Biodiversity Offsets: Conservation or enhancement projects that are intended to compensate for the disturbance from major development projects, so that there is at least a no net loss of biodiversity. Maintain the highest level of integrity and honesty
  2. In-Kind Offsets: Providing in lieu funds to private companies to help them continue their conservation or enhancement work. To avoid actual or potential conflicts between his or her personal interests and the interests of the Company

“One of our guiding principles is to operate with environmentally sound work practices in mind.  In the communities where we live and operate, it is our responsibility to conserve and preserve our ecological and cultural resources.  We are working towards leading environmental awareness and management initiatives with both internal and external stakeholders. I am excited to be a part of a company that is taking great steps towards living and working in a more sustainable environment.”

Portrait of Brandi Naughton, Senior Environmental Scientist

Brandi Naughton,
Senior Environmental Scientist

Land Use Programs

Our Biodiversity initiatives depend on effective land use management and landowner relations. Our Land Department oversees landowner relations on state, tribal, and private lands, which includes working with landowners in Crestwood’s intended rights of way to come to agreement on usage rights. We ensure absolute transparency in our communications to make sure landowners understand our intended actions.  

Case Studies

State of New Mexico Land Restoration – the Orla Express Pipeline

State of New Mexico Land Restoration – the Orla Express Pipeline

In February 2018, the State of New Mexico granted a Right of Entry permit to Crestwood New Mexico Pipeline LLC for the Orla Express Pipeline, which crossed approximately 10 miles of the State of New Mexico’s land in Eddy County, NM.  The overall project consists of a 32-mile pipeline crossing into Texas.

We utilized a soil scientist to develop a restoration plan that included requirements for erosion control, seeding preparation and methods, weed management, and monitoring. We submitted the finalized plan to the New Mexico State Land office in October and received approval in early November. Following approval, our contractor, Enviro Services, completed the restoration groundwork, and will continue monitoring the site and revegetation process until restoration is successful.

Candidate Conservation Agreement for the Texas Hornshell Mussel – Certificate of Inclusion for Midstream and Utilities

Candidate Conservation Agreement for the Texas Hornshell Mussel – Certificate of Inclusion for Midstream and Utilities

In October 2018, Crestwood signed the Candidate Conservation Agreement (CCA) and the Candidate Conservation with Assurances (CCAA) for the Texas Hornshell Mussel.  

This voluntary agreement encourages landowner and industry participation in conservation and recovery efforts of the Texas Hornshell, a fresh water mussel that is currently listed as critically endangered. The Texas Hornshell is found in shallow, slow-running water, tucked under travertine shelves and in-between boulders where soft sediment gathers. Freshwater mussels require perennial river flow, adequate water quality, and suitable substrates. A battery of threats endanger the Hornshell, including alteration of stream habitat from land uses; water pollution; water diversion and groundwater pumping; contamination from oil and gas operations; and siltation and sedimentation.  

CCAs and CCAAs are part of a broader government-led effort to balance the needs of wildlife with those of private landowners, industry, and communities through voluntary cooperative agreements.

Looking Ahead

In 2019, we are developing policies and procedures that will promote and ensure successful restoration for our future expansion projects. This plan will set goals and include measurable criteria for post construction vegetation growth. Additionally, to ensure landowner satisfaction with the restoration efforts on their property, we began directly contracting with specialized restoration companies. Direct contracting with these companies allows for flexibility in restoration methodology, enabling Crestwood to have control over the restoration and ensure the use of best practices. We plan to expand this to all of our land use contracts where restoration is applicable.

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