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Peters and Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Designating April as National Safe Digging Month

Resolution Aims to Promote Safety for Homeowners and Utility Workers Digging Near Utility Lines

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) led a bipartisan group of senators in introducing a resolution designating April as National Safe Digging Month. The resolution aims to build awareness of safe digging practices that protect homeowners and utility workers from damaging underground utility lines during excavation projects. The resolution is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Todd Young (R-IN).

“Too often, accidental utility line strikes disrupt vital services, pollute our environment, and put workers’ lives at unnecessary risk,” said Senator Peters, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight, and Ports. “I’m proud to lead this resolution to promote the safe digging practices that protect Michigan communities and the hard-working men and women who build and maintain our infrastructure, and I want to thank the Common Ground Alliance for their work to establish National Safe Digging Month.”

“April signals the start of peak digging season across the country, when excavation projects of all sizes truly ramp up,” said Sarah K. Magruder Lyle, CEO and President of the Common Ground Alliance, the national association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them, and their communities. “We wholeheartedly appreciate the U.S. Senate introducing the National Safe Digging Month resolution, as it reminds all Americans how critical it is to take proper precautions to safeguard themselves, their neighborhoods and vital infrastructure before breaking ground. Whether using a backhoe or a simple gardening shovel, every American should contact 811 a few days beforehand to have approximate locations of buried utilities properly marked. This step prevents accidentally striking the essential utility lines our daily lives depend upon.”

“Calling 811 is free, it’s the law, and it can save you and your family from having to call 911,” said Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown. “Thanks to Senators Peters, Young, Cantwell and Cruz for their continued leadership in pipeline safety efforts and this effort to raise awareness about the need to call 811 before you dig.”

Each year, underground utility infrastructure, including pipelines, electrical lines and telecommunications cables, are unintentionally damaged during excavation projects. National Safe Digging Month was established by the Common Ground Alliance to raise awareness of safe digging practices like the “One Call” policy, which encourages homeowners and excavators to dial “811” before starting a project to obtain information regarding the location of utility lines. Peters’ resolution designates April as National Safe Digging Month to support safety and awareness efforts during the peak period when excavation projects are carried out across the country.

The full text of the resolution can be found here