One of our foundations to building sustainable value is our significant ongoing investment in a cleaner tomorrow. We invest in initiatives to reduce our environmental impacts, while at the same time encouraging our customers to do their part and reduce energy consumption. Some of our investments include: improving air quality in our areas of operations; addressing climate change; managing water and resources; serving as responsible stewards of natural and environmental resources; providing energy saving incentives for customers; and supporting renewable energy development.
For the last 15 years, we have been a recognized leader in the steps taken to limit impacts on the environment, and in many cases, mitigate past impacts through remediation programs. We employ more than 60 dedicated environmental specialists with a focus on improving the environment. Our Work Management Systems document the completion of regulatory-required tasks and track data for compliance reporting.
Environmental Impact and Water Resources
We continue to make significant investments in environmental initiatives, including steps to reduce the environmental impact of our gas and electric operations. We recognize the need to maintain water quality in our geographic area and continue to invest in maintaining and improving water quality in our most water use intensive area, northern Indiana.
We are actively involved in redevelopment initiatives that are intended to enhance economic, social and environmental value for the community.
Community Environmental Projects
We are building a cleaner tomorrow by investing more than $9 million in programs outside of our normal business operations to improve the environment.
Programs to Support Renewable Energy Development
To support more sustainable renewable electricity generation, NIPSCO received regulatory approval of an expanded Net Metering Program and developed a pilot Feed-In electric rate program.
Habitat Conservation Plan
With the assistance of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, NiSource developed a Habitat Conservation Plan. An HCP is an effective way for some companies to proactively comply with the Endangered Species Act while undergoing their normal course of business.