Raising Pipeline Awareness: Find Out What’s Below

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently announced a campaign to encourage safe digging across the country. Their slogan “Call before You Dig,” encourages excavators and those doing home maintenance projects to contact 811 call centers before beginning digging. Pipeline accidents often result from failure to contact 811 call centers, which work with pipeline operators and utility companies to mark pipelines before digging projects begin. PHMSA has introduced several initiatives in support of this campaign including partnerships with national organizations, such as the Common Ground Alliance, as well as safety groups, public advocacy groups and trade organizations.

I have worked to increase pipeline safety in the past and am a co-sponsor of S. 275, the Pipeline Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2011. S. 275 would enhance existing safety and environmental regulations in pipeline transportation, particularly the transportation of energy products. Most importantly, this legislation would penalize those who fail to contact 811 call centers before beginning digging projects by levying large fines on any person found to have committed a major violation of a pipeline marking or excavation notification requirement, pipeline safety standard or regulation.

I encourage you to learn more about the importance of pipeline safety by visiting PHMSA’s website.