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MPUC: Review of Dig-Safe Program Launched
November 5, 2009
Maine Public Utilities Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Augusta, Maine — This week, the Maine Public Utilities Commission launched a stakeholder process to review aspects of its Damage Prevention Program. The Commission enforces Maine’s underground facilities damage prevention law, commonly called “the Dig Safe law.” At the Legislature’s request, the Commission is seeking input and recommendations from stakeholders on the following issues:
The deadline for written comments on the Dig-Safe program is December 4th, 2009. The first meeting of stakeholders will be December 15th, 2009 at 1pm at the Commission’s NEW offices at 101 Second Street in Hallowell, Maine. Commission Chair Sharon Reishus emphasized, “We want all interested parties to be aware of this stakeholder process so that we can hear all viewpoints before we determine what changes, if any, are needed in the Dig Safe program.”
The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the above listed issues and any comments filed with the Commission by the December 4th date. Interested persons may file written comments, attend the public session, or both. Notices about the process and schedule have been sent to the Dig-Safe System, all Maine utilities with underground facilities, and any equipment operator or excavator whose contact information is available to the Commission.
The Dig Safe law is intended to prevent damage to underground utility facilities such as gas lines, water lines, telecommunications and electric equipment and to avoid associated safety hazards, service interruptions and costs. Under the Dig-Safe law—and Commission rule—any person or company planning to excavate must make proper notifications, and facility operators, or utilities, have an obligation to locate and mark their underground facilities so that excavators will be sufficiently aware of the location of these facilities are when they are digging.
Violations of the Dig Safe law must be reported to the Commission; the Commission then investigates and determines appropriate enforcement action. The Commission holds training programs and provides public information materials in order to improve awareness of and effectiveness of the law.
For more about Dig Safe: www.digsafe.com. For complete information about the stakeholder process and list of questions, see Commission virtual case file and see Notice of Inquiry (NOI) dated November 2nd, 2009 in docket number 2009-371.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service, Dig Safe, and Efficiency Maine.
CONTACT: Evelyn deFrees, 207-287-6141, email@example.com
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