Working at Williams

What I Do: Environmental specialist

Susan Simpson

Establishing open dialogue with internal and external stakeholders is an essential part of Tara Meek’s role at Williams.

As an environmental specialist, Meek works closely with government agencies, trade organizations and internal stakeholders to make sure company and environmental interests are met while planning, executing and remediating projects.

“My whole career has been nurturing those connections and making sure things are planned out properly way before anything is constructed,” she said. “Williams is by far the best midstream company when it comes to environmental stewardship and definitely one of the reasons I work here.”

Meek started her career at the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, after earning a geology degree from West Virginia University, where she later got a double-major master’s degree.

Meek said her passion for the environment runs deeper than what meets the eye. This prompted her to major in hydrogeology and environmental microbiology.

“They are both unseen,” she said. “Hydrogeology is subsurface and microbiology is only seen with a microscope.”

She joined Williams six years ago and has served as a permit manager and supervisor of permitting.

She says her work at Williams is rewarding. She enjoys tracking, interpreting and reporting on proposed regulations and leads Williams through the public comment process that encourages stakeholders to give input on proposed infrastructure projects.

“You are looking at projects that are across the spectrum, from the roots of the project to restoration after the project. You walk away feeling good.”

One project Meek is looking forward to is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on bat mitigation and conservation efforts in West Virginia, where sites have been identified and evaluated by biologists for potential habitat and foraging for bats.

“This work is important for Williams to further our work with the agency and by getting ahead of the game having sites identified prior to needing the mitigation,” she said. “The sites being evaluated are properties already owned by Williams that would otherwise go unused.”

Meek also is president elect of the Women’s Energy Network (WEN) National Board and the Appalachian Pipeliners Association. She has been actively involved with WEN, as a founding member of the Appalachian Chapter that has grown into the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter and helping other locations form state chapters. She says she enjoys growing organizations that bring her leadership and collaboration skills to bear, helping other success in energy careers.