press releases

It's Safe Digging Month: NARUC and State Regulators Remind Everyone to Always Dial 811 Before Digging

Even Small Digging Projects Can Lead to Serious Injuries

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For Immediate Release:

Contact: Regina Davis, 202-898-9382,

WASHINGTON (April 2, 2021) —The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners wants to underscore the need for caution with any outdoor project for Safe Digging Month and has issued the following statements:

“We urge anyone involved in home or business activities outdoors to exercise extreme caution. Not only can costly damage occur after hitting underground gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines, these accidents can also pose serious health risks. Therefore, every effort should be taken to avoid overburdening first responders and utility personnel. NARUC urges everyone to practice safe digging and distancing while working outside and to dial 811 before commencing any project that involves digging to avoid physical injuries and property damage.”

  • NARUC President Paul Kjellander
    Commissioner, Idaho  Public Utilities Commission

“As state utility regulators, we join the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in overseeing millions of miles of underground pipelines across the country. We urge the public to follow safety precautions for underground digging and to be aware of the potential dangers associated with hitting buried utility lines. Members of the public and commercial workers should contact their states’ 811 One–Call service several days in advance of beginning any excavation or digging project, including small yard projects. The simple act of calling 811 before digging can prevent service disruptions, serious injuries and costly repairs.”

  • Commissioner D. Ethan Kimbrel, Illinois Commerce Commission
    Chair, NARUC Committee on Gas

NARUC and many state public service commissions will continue to raise awareness on the need for safe digging practices throughout the month. To learn more about safe digging by state, visit  



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.