PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When it comes to drilling for natural gas at the Pittsburgh International Airport, Consol Energy officials say no one in the nation is fracking with their level of environmental protection.

“We’re going to actually insure that we’re not going to impact the air quality of Allegheny County,” says Katherine Fredericksen, senior vice president at Consol.

Working with Halliburton and Cummins, Consol will use the industry’s first hydraulic fracturing spread that is fully compliant with EPA’s 2015 emissions standards.

“Tier 4 engines are the lowest emitting engines manufactured today,” says Fredericksen. “These engines reduce particulate matter by 93 percent and nitrous oxide by 63 percent over engines that were manufactured in just 2000.”

Consol says it is using the most advanced equipment at the airport even though EPA does not yet require it.

The $1 billion fracking project on taxpayer land will demonstrate how Consol puts safety and its neighbors first.

“From Consol’s standpoint, it’s a great opportunity for us to showcase our core values of safety, compliance, and continuous improvement,” notes Tim Dugan, Consol’s chief operating officer.

“It allows us to display how we conduct ourselves every day, and how we can effectively manage our operations while also protecting the community and the environment.”

So where does the project stand today?

“On Pad 2, six horizontal wells have been drilled, some in excess of 11,000 feet. At Pad 1, three of eight horizontal wells have been drilled, and on Pad 4 four of twelve vertical wells have been in preparation for the horizontal drilling rig,” says Mark Stebbins, operations superintendent.

Just in case there is a problem, Consol has been working with Imperial fire officials, donating $40,000 to help train firefighters to deal with drilling emergencies.

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