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Press Release

PUC Damage Prevention Committee Announces Most Recent Disciplinary Actions, Plans Virtual Meeting on Nov. 9

Published on 10/29/2021

Filed under: Consumer Education Electric Gas Pipeline Telecommunications Water and Wastewater

Latest Enforcement Actions Reflect 141 Disciplinary Actions Against 72 Underground Facility Owners, Excavator & Project Owners

HARRISBURG – A total of 141 disciplinary actions, including $63,625 in administrative penalties, have been taken against 72 underground facility owners, excavators and project owners in the latest enforcement actions by the Public Utility Commission’s (PUC’s) Damage Prevention Committee (DPC).  These actions were taken during the DPC’s October 2021 meeting.

The next virtual meeting of the Damage Prevention Committee (DPC) is Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 9 a.m. Members of the public, the media and others will be able to access the virtual conference by clicking on this Microsoft Teams event link or by calling into the telephone conference by dialing 267-332-8737, and then entering passcode 519 710 918# to listen to the meeting. The meeting agenda is available on the PUC’s website.

About the DPC

The DPC is a peer-based group of 13 representatives, nominated by their industry or affiliated organization and appointed by the PUC. 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.” The focus of the DPC is to reduce the number of “hits” on underground lines and utilities.

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

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.

About the Bureau of Investigation & Enforcement

As the independent investigation and enforcement bureau of the PUC, I&E enforces state and federal pipeline safety, electric safety and motor carrier safety laws and regulations and represents the public interest in ratemaking and service matters before the PUC’s Office of Administrative Law Judge.  I&E has the authority to bring enforcement action, seek emergency orders from the Commission or take other steps to ensure public safety.

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