On 8/11 and Beyond, Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig
Posted August 11, 2021
On Aug. 11 – National 811 Day – API is reminding Americans to call 8-1-1 before they dig.
The federally mandated call-before-you-dig number is available to Americans in every state. Expert-level professional contractors and DIY homeowners alike should use it to learn where utilities are located before breaking ground on home improvement or other construction projects.
The natural gas and oil industry is committed to improving the safety and security of America’s extensive infrastructure network. By promoting consensus-based standards, performance reporting guidelines and public awareness campaigns, we can accelerate progress toward a zero-incident future together.
Here are three facts your constituents should know today.
- Risk Reduction Is a Quick Phone Call Away: According to the Common Ground Alliance, there are more than 20 million miles of underground utilities in communities across the nation. Estimates indicate that a buried utility is damaged in the U.S. every 9 minutes – causing potential injuries and service outages. By picking up the phone and calling 8-1-1, all Americans can reduce their risk of striking an underground line to less than 1%.
- Everybody Plays a Role: Given the pandemic-induced uptick in purchases of home repair equipment and materials, there is more reason than ever for Americans to take basic steps to protect themselves, their communities and the environment as they tackle home renovations. The process is simple. After the phone call to 8-1-1 is placed, a crew is dispatched within a few days to mark all of the utility lines in the construction area, and there is no charge to the consumer.
- Industry Emphasis on Safety Contributes to Fewer Incidents: Energy pipelines remain the safest, most environmentally friendly way to deliver natural gas and oil for everyday use, meeting the world’s growing demand for energy while reducing emissions and shrinking our environmental footprint. An industrywide commitment to safety and sustainability has contributed to a 38% decrease in liquids pipeline incidents impacting people or the environment over the past five years, even as pipeline mileage and barrels delivered increased.
It is important for all of us – lawmakers, industry leaders and private citizens – to advocate for responsible digging and construction practices, which enhance the safety of our infrastructure network and ensure the affordable, reliable delivery of energy and other essential services. Today and every day, let’s make safety the foundation of American home improvement.
About The Author
Robin Rorick is API vice president of Midstream and Industry Operations, with responsibility for all energy infrastructure issues including the gathering, processing, storage and transportation of oil and natural gas. Robin joined API in 1996, working in Communications, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs and Policy Analysis. Most recently he served as API’s director of Marine and Security, with responsibility for maritime transportation issues and emergency response. Over his 20 years at API, Robin has been involved with each segment of the industry – Upstream, Midstream and Downstream – working on issues including climate change, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and fire and safety. A graduate of the College of William and Mary and then later Johns Hopkins University, Robin lives with his family in Fairfax, Virginia.