Wednesday, August 28, 2019

PUC PA One Call Compliance Committee Imposes $47,250 In Penalties For Violating Excavation Rules Near Pipelines, Other Underground Utilities

On August 28, the Public Utility Commission announced the PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee took a total of 70 disciplinary actions, including $47,250 in administrative penalties, against 33 underground facility owners, excavators and project owners for violating excavation safety requirements.
Click Here for a list of summaries and actions from DPC meetings.  The Commission will offset the costs of administering this program through the penalties collected.
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 DPC is part of the PUC’s independent Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, which also includes the Pipeline Safety Division. Modeled after successful programs in other states, the focus of the committee is a reduction in the number of “hits” on underground utilities.
The DPC meets regularly to review alleged violations of the Act and makes determinations as to the appropriate response including, but not limited to, the issuance of warning letters or administrative penalties. 
The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled for October 8.
For more information, visit the PUC’s PA One Call Enforcement webpage.
(Photo: What happens when a backhoe hits a natural gas gathering pipeline. Not all gathering lines are included in the PA One Call program due to opposition from the conventional oil and gas industry.)

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner