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WASHINGTON (April 5, 2023) — The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners reminds citizens during Safe Digging Month to avoid accidents and utility interruptions when engaging in any outdoor projects by calling 811 and has issued the following statement:
“State utility regulators, along with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, have authority over miles of underground pipe. The spring season brings with it an increase in outdoor projects that can result in hitting buried utility lines. We strongly urge anyone planning to engage in outdoor residential or business projects to call 811 beforehand. The costs of striking and damaging underground gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines reach billions of dollars annually. Making this call can help prevent these issues and avoid serious health risks.”
—NARUC President Michael A. Caron, Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority
Hitting buried utility lines can be avoided by reaching out to the 811 One–Call service, available in every state, several days in advance of beginning any excavation or digging project, including small yard projects. NARUC and its members — state public service commissions — will continue to raise awareness on the need for safe digging practices throughout the month of April.
Information on each state’s safe digging program and contacts are available at bit.ly/SafeDiggingMap.
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC’s member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of state public utility commissions before the three branches of the federal government.