IOGCC Selects HARC Program for Stewardship Award

The Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems (EFD) Program, a collaborative project led by the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), has been selected by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission's Stewardship Award Subcommittee as the winner in the Environmental Partnership category. The award was presented at the Commission's annual meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi on October 5.

Since its inception in 1935, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) has voiced the need for sound oil and natural gas environmental policy. In 2001, the IOGCC initiated the annual Chairman's Stewardship Awards, representing the Commission's highest honor for exemplary efforts in environmental stewardship. The awards recognize achievement and challenge organizations, companies and individuals nationwide to demonstrate innovation, dedication and passion for our environment.

The EFD program seeks to
  • combine new low-impact technologies that reduce the footprint of drilling activities,
  • integrate light-weight drilling rigs with reduced emission engine packages,
  • address on-site waste management,
  • optimize the systems to fit the needs of a specific development sites, and
  • provide stewardship of the environment.
The program involves industry, the public, environmental organizations, and elected officials in a collaboration that addresses concerns on development of unconventional natural gas resources in environmentally sensitive areas. Partners bring their regional expertise together in a synergistic manner to address the needs across the country.

Dr. Richard Haut, project director and principal investigator of the EFD program, explained that the project seeks to reduce environmental tradeoffs associated with operations for unconventional natural gas and, at the same time, to involve all stakeholders in the process. "Our program aims to foster dialogue among the public, industry, environmental organizations, academia, and government agencies/regulators so together we can develop the best drilling methods to safeguard environmentally sensitive ecosystems."

Mike Smith, Executive Director of the IOGCC, said that the Environmental Partnership award presented to the EFD program recognizes an innovative project led by a non-industry organization in cooperation with industry partners. "The EFD program is an outstanding example of what the award represents," Smith said.

Created in 2005, the EFD program is a partnership of HARC, Texas A&M University, Sam Houston State University, the University of Arkansas, the University of Colorado, West Virginia University and TerraPlatforms, L.L.C. It is co-funded by the US Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory, the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America and a number of environmental organizations, government agencies, and industry sponsors including major integrated and independent operators, service companies and suppliers. The program has become a clearing house of knowledge on reducing the impact of oil and gas operations through presentations, publications and website:

Created in 1982, HARC is a not-for-profit organization based in The Woodlands, Texas, dedicated to improving human and ecosystem well-being through the application of sustainability science and principles of sustainable development.

The IOGCC, representing the governors of 30 member and eight associate states, promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of the nation's oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety, and the environment. Established by the charter member states' governors in 1935, it is the oldest, largest, and most effective interstate compact in the nation.

For more information, contact Rich Haut at 281-364-6093 or

You can view this press release on the HARC website at
RPSEA footnote:
Both HARC and IOGCC sit on RPSEA's Board of Directors and are RPSEA members.  Congratulations to HARC!
Ginny Jahn
Author: Ginny Jahn
Category: rpsea in the news