April 2017: Safe Digging Month

WHEREAS, April is traditionally the month when spring weather encourages Michigan residents, excavators and farmers to begin many small and large digging projects; and,

WHEREAS, each year these projects result in thousands of unintentional damages to underground utilities and pipelines by those who fail to contact MISS DIG 811 to have underground utilities located; and,

WHEREAS, failure to contact MISS DIG 811 by calling 811 or visiting the organization’s website at MISSDIG811.org before digging is the number one reason why Michigan residents cause unintended damages to underground utilities; and,

WHEREAS, damages to underground utilities can cause service interruption, damage to the environment, and most serious of all, personal injury and even death; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission recently made more than 100 recommendations to improve the safety and reliability of state infrastructure, which will create more construction projects where the importance of contacting 811 and following safe digging procedures will be paramount to safe completion; and,

WHEREAS, 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the Common Ground Alliance organization which successfully implemented the national 811 toll-free phone number that connects Michigan residents to MISS DIG 811 so they can request marking of underground utilities; and,

WHEREAS, MISS DIG 811 Inc. and Dig Safely coalition partners Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, SEMCO Energy, TransCanada Pipeline along with the Michigan Public Service Commission and Michigan legislators continue to work diligently year round to promote 811 and the MISSDIG811.org website to help raise awareness of and reduce underground utility damages; and,

WHEREAS, the key to safe and successful digging projects by homeowners, excavators, contractors, farmers and others is to contact MISS DIG 811 via phone or website before beginning any small or large digging project. It is important to wait three working days for utilities to mark their underground lines, respect the marks by maintaining visual definition throughout excavation, and finally by digging with care around the staking/marks to ensure the integrity of underground utilities including natural gas, electric, phone, internet, water and sewer as well as other pipelines; and,

WHEREAS, contacting MISSDIG811 can save time and money while keeping Michigan, its residents and workers safe and connected;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2017 as Safe Digging Month in Michigan.