The House Consumer Affairs Committee Wednesday held a hearing on Pennsylvania’s One Call Program that helps contractors avoid pipeline explosions and interrupting utilities due to construction equipment hitting buried utilities.
Click Here to watch a video of the hearing.
Bill Boswell, General Counsel from the nonprofit PA One Call that administers the program, said the cost of its service is about 80 cents per ticket (request to locate utilities), the second lowest ticket price in the United States. The average cost of similar programs nationwide is $1/per ticket.
Bill Kiger, President of PA One Call, said the organization processed 812,682 tickets in 2016 and noted Pennsylvania had an average ticket cost of $2.11 in 1987 PA One Call reduced to the 80 cents today.
With respect to updating the information PA One Call has on utility locations, Kiger said members can simply upload a file to the system with their pipeline or utility location information, noting the process is free. Click Here for a brochure on member mapping. Click Here for information on membership in PA One Call.
Conventional oil and gas drillers have opposed legislation for several years that would require the location of their 60,000 to 100,000 miles of gathering lines be included in the PA One Call Program to avoid contractor strikes that may cause an explosion.
A spokesperson for the PA Independent Oil and Gas Association told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Wednesday the costs of participating in PA One Call were “eight times” as much as a similar program in West Virginia.
A summary of charges by other states submitted by PA One Call showed the cost of a ticket in West Virginia was $1.40 and in Pennsylvania 80 cents.
Legislation introduced last year to include conventional oil and gas gathering lines was defeated when the House Consumer Affairs Committee amended the bill to take out those provisions.
Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) has introduced Senate Bill 488 this session to at least include the 3,600 miles of Class 1 natural gas lines in the PA One Call System.
The legislation authorizing the PA One Call System is due to expire on December 31, 2017.
Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery), Majority Chair of the Committee, said at least one more hearing will be held on PA One Call to address specific legislative proposals.
Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-Berks) serves as the Minority Chair of the Committee.
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