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PG Energy Urges Contractors and Customers to ‘Call Before You Dig’

07 Apr 2006

One Call Service Can Prevent Danger and Underground Utility Damage

Wilkes-Barre, PA (April 7, 2005) – Warmer temperatures and outdoor activities mark the sweet signs of spring. They also mark the time when homeowners and contractors are about to build or dig around homes, businesses or other property. As the area’s largest natural gas utility, PG Energy reminds customers and local contractors that state law requires a “call before you dig,” to help prevent dangerous situations and underground utility damage.

“Damage to gas lines by third party contractors is more common during the warmer months, when excavation projects get underway,” explains Vince Bonaddio, vice president of operations and engineering. “That’s why now is an important time for people to take the necessary steps in helping to prevent damage and costly repairs.”

As mandated by the law (Act 287 of 1974), homeowners or contractors must contact the PA One Call System (toll free 1-800-242-1776) at least three working days (not including weekends or holidays) before any excavation work begins.
The law applies to any type of excavation or any type of work that requires excavation.

The law and Pennsylvania’s One Call system are designed to prevent injuries to
those who excavate and come in contact with or damage water, natural gas or sewer lines, conduits containing electric or telephone lines or other underground equipment. By calling the PA One Call System, Pennsylvanians planning any type of in-ground work can arrange to have member facility owners and operators mark the location of their underground utilities—free of charge to homeowners and nonprofit organizations. The PA One Call System is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. Those who violate Act 287 subject themselves to personal injury, criminal fines and other penalties.

Callers must allow utilities three working days to mark their facilities or indicate that they do not have facilities in the area. Individuals who accidentally strike an underground natural gas line should immediately contact PG Energy at 1-800-228-1110, so the company can promptly shut off the natural gas and make necessary repairs. For more information, contact the PENNSAFE hotline at1-888-SAFE-422 or visit the PA One Call System Web site at www.paonecall.org.

PG Energy, headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, is a natural gas operating division of Southern Union Company (NYSE: SUG). PG Energy serves approximately 158,000 customers in 13 counties throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania, including the cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport.