Maine Law requires anyone using power tools to penetrate the ground must first:
1. Pre-mark the boundaries of the proposed area of excavation with white markings.
2. Call 811 or 1-888-DIGSAFE (1-888-344-7233) 3 business days prior to digging. Dig Safe will then automatically notify all of its member utilities that own underground facilities in the area of the excavation so that they can mark their facilities. You can also visit www.digsafe.com for more information.
3. Notify all non-member owners of underground facilities in the area of the excavation 3 business days prior to digging by calling 1-866-OKT-ODIG (1-866-658-6344.) You can get additional information by visiting this web site www.maine.gov/mpuc/industries/programs/dig_safe/notify_facility_own.html.
This law pertains to all individuals and companies involved in ground-penetrating projects including homeowners, excavators, landscapers and property owners including the STATE and its departments! So unless you are hand digging to penetrate the earth, this law pertains to you! There are some exemptions for agricultural activities like roto tilling and plowing as well as exemptions for vacuum excavating.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) is vigorously enforcing these rules and may fine you up to $5,000 per violation if you do not comply. Therefore, please take time to review and understand the rules and Informational Material. The Damage Prevention Unit at MPUC offers FREE training and consultation take advantage of it if you or your employees do not know or understand the law. There is no excuse.
When you have a digging related claim, following this law may enable Risk Management Division to allocate legal responsibility and return claims dollars to your budget!