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AGA

 4/1/2010 

AGA Contacts:
Jennifer O’Shea, 202-824-7023
Jake Rubin, 202-824-7027

 AGA Encourages Increased Safety Awareness During National Safe Digging Month   

 
   

We can’t stress this enough: safety is absolutely the number one priority of AGA members

Washington, DC – The American Gas Association (AGA), the national trade association for 195 natural gas utility companies, today called for an increased awareness of safe outdoor digging practices in honor of National Safe Digging Month.  AGA and partner organizations will use the month of April to raise awareness of the “811 Call Before You Dig” program. 

With the onset of warmer weather, the busy digging season begins.  AGA urges contractors and homeowners to call 811 before they dig, with the aim of preventing injuries, property damage and outages.  The 811 hotline is a free service to that will notify affected utilities of a person’s intent to dig.   Within a few days, the utility companies will then mark the approximate locations of the utility-owned lines with paint or flags. Natural gas pipelines, electric power lines and other underground facilities can sometimes be buried only a few inches, making them easy to strike even during shallow digging projects. 

“We can’t stress this enough: safety is absolutely the number one priority of AGA members,” said David N. Parker, AGA president and CEO. “The majority of safety incidents along natural gas utility lines are preventable. Many of these reportable accidents are caused by outside forces or third-party damage.  That is why we’re encouraging Americans to call 811 before beginning any outdoor digging project, large or small.” 

Since the 811 “Call Before You Dig” campaign was created in 2004, there has been roughly a 40 percent reduction in excavation damages.  For more information, visit www.call811.com.

“Our nation’s natural gas delivery system is safe and well-designed,” said Parker.  “That being said, we urge citizens to make a quick, easy call to 811 to cover their bases before digging—so that utilities can continue to transport energy to America’s 70 million natural gas users safely and reliably.”

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The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 94 percent — over 68 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.

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