April, 2014: Safe Digging Month

WHEREAS, April is celebrated nationally as Safe Digging Month; and this month marks the start of many small and large digging projects for Michigan residents as well as excavators and farmers; and,

WHEREAS, every year thousands of damages occur to underground natural gas, electric and other underground utilities when individuals or companies fail to call MISS DIG and follow safe digging procedures, sometimes with tragic and expensive consequences; and,

WHEREAS, Call 811 Before You Dig is a federally mandated, national campaign spearheaded by the Common Ground Alliance and fully supported by MISS DIG System, Inc., Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, SEMCO Energy, TransCanada Pipeline and other Michigan utilities, along with the Michigan Public Service Commission, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, and other individuals and community leaders who continue to work to raise awareness and promote calling 811 before you dig; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan’s Public Act 174, the MISS DIG law, has been helping to prevent underground utility damages for 40 years; and has been enhanced by legislators in 2014 to help ensure digging activities and underground utilities remain safe; and,

WHEREAS, everyone, from residential weekend “do-it-yourselfers”, to builders, excavators and farmers, should call MISS DIG at 811 to request staking of underground utilities at least three working days before beginning to dig for any project – from those considered small such as planting trees and shrubs and installing rural mailboxes -- to larger ones like building decks and additions, to major projects such as plowing and planting farm land, road and building construction; and,

WHEREAS, all it takes to get the approximate location of underground utilities marked with staking flags and/or paint is to make a toll-free call to 811 at least three working days in advance of digging, waiting for the utilities to be located, then digging with care around them; and,

WHEREAS, during this month, we continue to raise awareness of the importance of pipeline safety and other underground utility education in Michigan and throughout the U.S., we remind all Michigan residents and those working in the state to call 811 before they begin any digging project;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2014 as Safe Digging Month in Michigan.