Thursday, May 30, 2019

PUC Underground Utility Damage Prevention Committee Imposes $78,700 In Penalties For Violations

On May 30, the Public Utility Commission announced the PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee imposed a total of 97 disciplinary actions, including $78,700 in administrative penalties against 48 underground facility owners, excavators and project owners who violated pipeline and utility line protection requirements.
Every year, underground lines across the state are struck more than 6,000 times – which means that during the average workday a pipeline or other vital utility system is hit every 20 minutes.
While underground lines are often “out of sight and out of mind,” every hit poses a risk to the contractors and homeowners who are doing the digging; to utility workers and emergency responders who are mobilized when lines are struck; and to bystanders who live, work or travel near the locations of the incidents.
State law requires contractors and residents to contact PA One Call at least three business days prior to excavation – triggering alerts to all utilities within an intended digging area and prompting utilities to mark where their facilities are located.
Pennsylvanians can dial 8-1-1 to connect with the One Call system, while out-of-state residents or businesses can call 1-800-242-1776
The next meeting of the Damage Prevention Committee is on June 11.
For more information, visit the PUC’s Damage Prevention Committee webpage.
(Photo: What happens when a backhoe hits a natural gas gathering line.)

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