Governor Lamont Proclaims April as ‘Call Before You Dig Month’
PURA Stresses Safe Digging Practices; Visit www.cbyd.com or Call 8-1-1 At Least 2 Full Business Days Before Digging
(New Britain, CT – April 1, 2021) – In accordance with Governor Ned Lamont’s proclamation that April is officially ‘Call Before You Dig Month,’ Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) today is reminding homeowners, commercial excavators and utility operators about the importance of digging safely by visiting www.cbyd.com or calling “8-1-1” before you dig.
The Governor’s proclamation and the Authority’s call for safe digging coincides with the 14th annual ‘National Safe Digging Month’ in April, which is meant to urge customers and contractors to call 8-1-1 before starting a digging project to avoid striking a utility line potentially causing injuries, fatalities and service disruptions.
In 2019, the most recent year on record, total damages to buried utility infrastructure in the U.S. increased 4.5% year-over year to an estimated $30 billion in damages, according to the Common Ground Alliance, a North American trade association representing the underground utility industry. That estimate includes direct costs such as facility repairs and indirect costs including property damage, medical bills and work stoppages, among other damages.
In Connecticut, Call Before You Dig, Inc. (CBYD), is a statutorily created non-profit organization that receives the notifications from the excavators and relays that information to the owners of the underground facilities in the area of the proposed excavation. CBYD also maintains a website providing educational materials to alert excavators, utilities and the public about the program.
The law requires that anyone planning to dig must notify CBYD at least two full business days prior to digging. CBYD then notifies all owners and operators of any buried utilities to ensure lines, cables, pipes and conduits can be properly located and marked by the standardized color-coding system.
Warmer weather in April initiates many commercial and residential projects, increasing vulnerability to the exposure of public utility lines.
“From mailbox installs to major commercial developments, the spring season kicks off a wave of new digging projects across Connecticut,” Governor Lamont said. “We need to make sure those planning to put shovels in the ground are aware of significant damage that can be caused by a failure to notify the 8-1-1 call center. I applaud PURA for providing the resources required to educate and promote safe digging requirements and best practices.”
PURA, through its Gas Pipeline Safety Unit, oversees all CBYD activity across Connecticut, and may open an investigation and impose substantial fines for any party who violates the statutes and regulations.
“We want to stress to homeowners and commercial operators that the CBYD call service is free and easy to use,” said Karl Baker, head of PURA’s Gas Pipeline Safety Unit. “This one-step process could guard you and your neighbors from possible injuries or service outages.”
About the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority:
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) is statutorily-charged with regulating the rates and services of Connecticut's investor owned electricity, natural gas, water and telecommunication companies and is the franchising authority for the state’s cable television companies. In the industries that are still wholly regulated, PURA balances the public’s right to safe, adequate and reliable utility service at reasonable rates with the provider’s right to a reasonable return on its investment. PURA also keeps watch over competitive utility services to promote equity among the competitors while customers reap the price and quality benefits of competition and are protected from unfair business practices. Visit PURA’s website at https://portal.ct.gov/pura.
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