The Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD) said Wednesday it has received a two-year, $150,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation in support of its certification program and public engagement initiatives.

Pittsburgh-based CSSD, a coalition of energy companies, environmental groups and philanthropic organizations, was formed in March 2013 (see Shale Daily, March 25, 2013). Four producers — Chevron Corp., Consol Energy Inc., EQT Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell plc — are founding members.

“The support we have received from the Richard King Mellon Foundation will be leveraged to help CSSD fulfill its mission to advance transparent and prudent shale development,” Executive Director Susan LeGros said. “We are honored and encouraged that one of the country’s leading philanthropic organizations with such a strong heritage in investing in this region has joined us in support of implementing our third-party certification program and our efforts to inform the public about ways to address risk.”

CSSD began accepting applications from producers in the Appalachian Basin seeking certification on a host of performance standards in January (see Shale Daily, Jan. 22). LeGros was also named executive director that month.

Last year, The Heinz Endowments — one of two philanthropic organizations that helped found CSSD — faced criticism for its support of the coalition and experienced a management shakeup (see Shale Daily, Oct. 15, 2013). News reports suggested Andre Heinz — a board member, son of the late Sen. Henry John Heinz III and an environmental supporter — may have been behind the shakeup.

The Richard King Mellon Foundation was created in 1947 by Richard King Mellon, a conservationist and philanthropist who was president of Mellon Bank.