Thursday, July 23, 2020

PUC: PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee Assesses $80,750 In Penalties For Violations

On July 23, the Public Utility Commission announced the
PA One Call Damage Prevention Committee issued a total of 82 disciplinary actions, including $80,750 in penalties, against 50 underground facility owners, excavators and project owners for violations of the PA One Call Law.
A comprehensive list of summaries and actions from DPC meetings is available on the PUC’s website

Penalties are payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Commission will offset the costs of administering this program through the penalties collected.

Digging Safety – PA One Call

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 a peer-based group of 13 representatives, nominated by their industry or affiliated organization and appointed by the PUC. 

The DPC meets regularly to review alleged violations of Act 50 and make informal determinations as to the appropriate response including, but not limited to, the issuance of warning letters, mandatory training programs and/or administrative penalties. 

Summaries and actions taken at monthly DPC meetings are available on the PUC’s website.  

Creation of the committee was authorized by Act 50 of 2017, which enhances Pennsylvania’s Underground Utility Line Protection Act – also known as the “One Call Law.”

Visit the PUC’s PA One Call Enforcement webpage for more information.

(Photo: What happens when a backhoe hits an unmarked natural gas gathering line.)

Related Article:

PUC Announces August Hearings On PA American WAter Rate Increase Requests

[Posted: July 23, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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