July Town Hall | What makes a One Call Law Fair & Effective?

esa town hall one call Aug 10, 2022

What makes a One Call Law Fair & Effective?

Moderator: Tracey Bryant, Public Awareness Program Manager, CenterPoint Energy
• Steve Allen, Executive Director of Pipeline Safety, Energy Worldnet, Inc.
• Louis Panzer, Executive Director, North Carolina 811
• M.G. Govia, Education & Outreach Liaison, Oklahoma One-Call System, Inc.
• Shannon Neufeld, Technical Leader, Damage Prevention, Canada Energy Regulator
• Kurt Youngs, President, Youngs Excavating Inc.
• Jerry Cobenais, Operations Manager, Xcel Energy
• Josh Richard, Locator, Xcel Energy

On July 14, Infrastructure Resources held an ESA Town Hall with a focus on One Call laws and how it affects facility operators, contractors, and other industry professionals in the United States and Canada. The primary question asked to our panelists and to the audience at large was, What makes a One Call Law Fair & Effective? During this town hall, our participants discussed what has worked, what hasn’t, as well as the overall fairness of the policies for their stakeholder groups. During the discussion, there was an abundance of involvement among our engaged chat group as well. In fact, nearly 30 audience members chimed in during the discussion. After the event formally concluded, our moderator, Tracey Bryant, extended this month’s ESA Town Hall with “Coffee after the Town Hall” which provided for additional interaction between our panelists and audience .

Enforcement, in terms of education requirements and monetary fines for liable parties, was one such policy that was thoroughly discussed and Shane Ayers of Stake Center Locating conveyed an important point in the chat, “the key [is] to have a fair and effective balance of fines and education. If a party continuously repeats an offence, say not calling 811, then fines are a tool to get their attention. On the other hand, a damage resulting from improper excavation techniques might be a good candidate for education.” Shelly Dornick of Colorado Springs Utilities also shared with everyone the great success that their program has had in educating nearly 1,000 individual excavators. Our ESA members appeared to enjoy this topic, as Mike Evans, with his 45+ years in the telecommunications industry put it, “great discussion, great group, your audience adds a lot of value. Until next time!”

Some of the questions that were brought up during July’s ESA Town Hall include:

• What are your thoughts on mandatory vs. complaint-based reporting?
• Have damages increased or decreased with the different programs that have been put in place?
• Are excavators held to the same standard as facility operators in terms of enforcement?
• How has the ample data that comes with mandatory reporting impacted business?
• What information do you collect and who do you reach out to when investigating a damage?
• What contributes to fair and adequate enforcement? When has it been unfair?

Want to view the full ESA July Town Hall for yourself and get answers to all the above questions? Click HERE! We encourage you to participate in future ESA Town Halls and to suggest topics of interest to YOU. Want to attend an in-person Town Hall? Join us for the annual Global Excavation Safety Conference. For more details and to register, visit GlobalExcavationSafetyConference.com.

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