U.S. Representatives Denham, Brown And Speier Urge States To Raise Awareness
About Safe Digging Practices
Members of Congress Call on National Organizations to Help Prevent Serious
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2013
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Chairman and Ranking Member of the
Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and
Hazardous Materials – Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) –
along with Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform
Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Healthcare, and Entitlements Rep. Jackie Speier
(D-CA) today announced that they co-signed a letter calling on the National
Governors Association (NGA), the National Conference of State Legislatures
(NCSL) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
(NARUC) to raise awareness about the importance of safe digging practices to
avoid the leading cause of pipeline accidents in the United States –
"Digging into underground utility lines is largely avoidable and therefore
needs a cohesive call to action from elected officials, industry and national
organizations in order to encourage real awareness," Denham said. "I'm proud
to stand up with my colleagues, our home energy utility and the natural gas
industry to advance safe digging advocacy at the state level in order to
promote safe communities."
In their letter to NGA, NCSL and NARUC, Denham, Brown and Speier call for
leadership on this important issue, noting that every citizen must "be
encouraged to 'know what's below, and call 811 before digging' for safer and
stronger communities across the country." 811 is a free service that provides
important information on where utilities exist beneath excavation areas. The
rules and regulations governing safe digging practices vary from state to
state, so awareness and advocacy at the state level is especially important.
"A utility line is damaged once every eight minutes in the United States due
to excavation," Speier said. "Having the proper resources and information
about safe digging practices can save lives and property, and transform the
largest threat to our pipelines into one of the easiest and most effective
ways to keep our communities safe."
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) delivers gas and electric service to
15 million people in Northern and Central California, including customers in
the home districts of Denham and Speier. The utility recently spearheaded
local 811 task forces with first responders in communities throughout its
service area, including communities in the districts of Denham and Speier.
"Last year alone, PG&E experienced more than 1,000 incidents where a third
party dug into our natural gas pipelines or electric power lines without
calling 811," said Nick Stavropoulos, PG&E's executive vice president of Gas
Operations. "We appreciate first-hand the efforts of Representatives Denham,
Brown and Speier to raise awareness about the importance of calling 811 before
Also supporting the efforts of Denham, Brown and Speier are national natural
gas industry organizations American Gas Association and Interstate Natural Gas
Association of America, which regularly work with their member companies to
promote safe digging practices.
While April is recognized as National Safe Digging Month, the www.call811.com
web site is a year-round resource for more information about 811 and the
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG),
is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the
United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company
delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern
and Central California. For more information, visit
http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.
SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
Contact: PG&E External Communications, (415) 973-5930
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.