OGA Pipeline 2016 - 27


Continued from page 24

Dominion East Ohio's Jim Callan, left, and USIC Locating Service'
Shaun Corrin, members of the newly formed Underground
Technical Committee, make a recent damage prevention
presentation to Canton township service employees. Photo by
Neil Durbin.

"The two go hand in hand," he said.
"Awareness and education are bringing new,
first-time callers to us, but we are also seeing
an increase in established excavators that,
prior to the new law taking effect, might
have only called on occasion."
"Communications is the key to damage
prevention," said Jim Callan, Dominion
East Ohio Pipeline Damage Prevention
Consultant and UTC member. "Effective
damage prevention programs across the
state will increase awareness among excavators and the general public. This, among
other positive effects, will lead to more calls
to 8-1-1 and the reduction of damages."

The UTC Swings into Action
As calls rang into 8-1-1, another very
important development was taking place
in Columbus. The UTC was not only taking
shape, but was getting off to a fast start.
Senate Bill 378 remedied the lack of deterrent provisions in previous laws, through
fines and the formation of the UTC, which
will review violations and complaints and
then make enforcement recommendations
to the PUCO. By the first meeting, 16 of the
17 members were appointed and the committee quickly elected officers.
Dave Celona, a former utility executive was appointed to the UTC by the Ohio
House of Representatives, and was elected
chairperson.
"We wanted to work quickly and be ready
to do our job," said Celona. "Hundreds of
stakeholders from across the state have
worked together for the past several years
to promote and ensure the safety of our
utilities - this committee needs to keep that
momentum going."
OGA PIPELINE * 2016

The UTC reviewed three cases in only its
second meeting. Of the three, the committee found violations in two of the cases.
"In both instances where violations
were found, we had lengthy conversations about processes and improvement
plans," said Celona. "Our top goal is always
knowledge and education to improve the
excavator and ensure the mistakes don't
happen again."
Celona says that changes, though, when
the excavator willingly or knowingly puts
people and property at risk.
There are a range of options that the UTC
can recommend. First time violators can be
assessed penalties ranging from training
and education, up to a fine of not more than
$2,500. Subsequent violations may cost an
excavator as much as $5,000 in fines, while
persistent non-compliers may face fines of
up to $10,000.
"It's a new law and a new body, so education is a must," says Celona. "As we continue
to evolve, we will monitor our development
and be responsive to whether we need to do
more or less of something." Celona says it will
be important for everyone who has stake in
process - utility companies, excavators, customers, elected officials and municipalities -
to provide constant and honest feedback.
"Education is the key," noted Callan, also
a UTC member, who often makes damage
control presentations to municipal and
township service departments and other
groups of excavators. For example, during an early morning session with Canton
Township service employees in June, Callan
and fellow UTC member Shaun Corrin, USIC
Locating Services northeast Ohio district
manager, discussed the basics of damage
prevention and compliance with state law.
"If in doubt on locating underground utility lines, call O.U.P.S. to confirm," Callan told
his audience.
Corrin reinforced the message: "Don't
take the risk. If something doesn't look right,
make that phone call."

The Big Question
There is one important question to be
asked, now that damage prevention law
enforcement provisions are in effect, significant fines are a real possibility and awareness programs are taking root.
Is it working?
According to O.U.P.S., its 8-1-1 call center
is receiving a significantly larger number of

line location requests. Damage cases are
going before the Underground Technical
Committee for recommendations. And
the average customer is apt to hear catchy
8-1-1 jingles on the radio or see a thoughtprovoking damage prevention billboard
during the morning commute. But, none
of this matters if damages to underground
utilities are not significantly reduced.
Celona pointed out that the larger companies, including Columbia, Dominion, Duke
Energy Ohio and Vectren Energy Delivery of
Ohio, have set good examples of putting
innovative programs into place to ensure
constant feedback between the companies
and their excavating partners to drive down
the number of damages.
For example, last year, Columbia Gas of
Ohio experienced 609 damages to its facilities while handling more than 193,994 onecall locates - 3.14 damages per 1,000 calls
to O.U.P.S. That ratio represented one of the
best years in recent history for the utility,
according to company officials.
But, the story gets better. Following passage of the damage prevention law and the
increased awareness through outreach programs, the number of damages to Columbia
Gas of Ohio's facilities has dropped even
further during the first five months of 2016,
to 2.5 damages per 1,000 locates.
"Eliminating damage isn't only a great thing
to do, it's the right thing to do," Winterstein
said. "This is about safety for our customers
and employees." Winterstein added that, by
eliminating damages, the company can turn
its focus to infrastructure improvements and
innovative programs for customers.
Dominion East Ohio' experience has
been similar, Callan said. "In 2015 Dominion
received 317,632 excavation notices from
O.U.P.S., and experienced 1,134 damages
to our facilities, or 3.57 excavation damages
per 1,000 tickets.
"This was a significant increase from 2014
where Dominion experienced 868 damages
or 2.87 damages per 1,000 tickets," Callan
said. "In 2016, through June, Dominion has
received 152,323 excavation tickets, 354
damages to date, or 2.32 damages per 1,000
tickets. Even though the 'Dig-Season' is not
over, we are expecting to see the downward
trend in damages continue, as a direct result
of enforcement of the One Call Laws."
Shane Cartmill is an External Affairs specialist
with Columbia Gas of Ohio.
27



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of OGA Pipeline 2016

President’s Corner
Executive Roundtable
Generation to Generation: Ohio Family-Owned Gas Utilities Survive and Thrive
OGA Members Work to Refill the Jobs Pipeline in Response to Pending Retirements
Using New Approaches to Proclaim the Call Before Digging Safety Message
Vacuum Excavation Delivers Safer, More Precise Digging, Expediting Restoration, Reducing Costs
Practicing the Art of Safety: Protecting Employees Helps Protect Companies
Pipeline Spotlight: PUCO Chair Asim Z. Haque
2016 OGA Affiliate, Associate and Corporate Members Listings
2016 OGA Executive Board and Committee Listings
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
OGA Pipeline 2016 - cover1
OGA Pipeline 2016 - cover2
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 3
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 4
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 5
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 6
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 7
OGA Pipeline 2016 - President’s Corner
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 9
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 10
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 11
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 12
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 13
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Executive Roundtable
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 15
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Generation to Generation: Ohio Family-Owned Gas Utilities Survive and Thrive
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 17
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 18
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 19
OGA Pipeline 2016 - OGA Members Work to Refill the Jobs Pipeline in Response to Pending Retirements
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 21
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 22
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 23
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Using New Approaches to Proclaim the Call Before Digging Safety Message
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 25
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 26
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 27
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Vacuum Excavation Delivers Safer, More Precise Digging, Expediting Restoration, Reducing Costs
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 29
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 30
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Practicing the Art of Safety: Protecting Employees Helps Protect Companies
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Pipeline Spotlight: PUCO Chair Asim Z. Haque
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 33
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 2016 OGA Affiliate, Associate and Corporate Members Listings
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 35
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 36
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 37
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 38
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 39
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 2016 OGA Executive Board and Committee Listings
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 41
OGA Pipeline 2016 - Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com
OGA Pipeline 2016 - cover3
OGA Pipeline 2016 - cover4
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 45
OGA Pipeline 2016 - 46
OGA Pipeline 2016 - outsert1
OGA Pipeline 2016 - outsert2
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