Public Service Commission
Governor Beshear Proclaims Kentucky 8-1-1 Underground Facility Protection Day
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed today to be Kentucky 8-1-1 Underground Facility Protection Day.
“We have been working hard in recent years to increase awareness of the call-before-you-dig requirements in state law and to promote use of the 811 statewide toll-free telephone number to request marking of buried utility lines,” Gov. Beshear said.
“But Kentucky still has far too many incidents of excavators hitting buried utility lines,” he said. “It is important that we continue our efforts to address this problem.”
PSC Chairman David Armstrong said that digging into buried lines is more than just a problem for the utilities that own the lines.
“These incidents disrupt service and can do substantial damage to other property,’ he said. “In the case of electric and gas lines, the result of a dig-in can be injury or death.”
In recent years, Kentucky has taken several steps to reduce damage to buried lines. The 811 number was adopted in 2007 as an easy-to-remember number to call to have utilities located prior to excavation. A 2008 statute expanded enforcement of laws requiring underground utility lines to be located and marked prior to most excavation or demolition activity.
Tim Vaughn, regulatory affairs director of Kentucky 811, the state’s call-before-you-dig center, thanked Gov. Beshear for his efforts to help educate the public about the importance of protecting buried utility lines.
“By lending his voice to public service announcements and through acts such as today’s proclamation, Governor Beshear has reinforced on a daily basis the message that we try to convey to utilities, contractors and the public,” Vaughn said.
Kentucky 811 is a voluntary organization with nearly 300 members, including most of Kentucky’s largest utility service providers. A call to Kentucky 811 will result in location of underground facilities owned by its members.
Kentucky 811 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To obtain locations for underground facilities owned by utility service providers that do not belong to Kentucky 811, it is necessary to notify the company directly. A list of all owners of underground utility lines may be obtained from the county clerk.
More information about Kentucky 811 is available at its website, www.kentucky811.org. To request a copy of a handbook for excavators, go the site and click on the “Ask Tim” link: http://www.kentucky811.org/contact_us.php.
The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky and has approximately 100 employees.