April 2015: Safe Digging Month

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

WHEREAS, Each year these projects can result in unintentional damage to underground utilities and pipelines by those who fail to call 811 to have underground utilities located, and,

WHEREAS, Failure to call 811 before digging can cause consequences such as service interruption, damage to the environment, and most serious of all, personal injury and even death; and,

WHEREAS, April is celebrated as National Safe Digging Month and the 811 national, toll-free, easy-to-remember phone number connects Michigan residents to MISS DIG System, Inc. to request marking of underground and overhead utilities at least three days before digging projects begin; and,

WHEREAS, MISS DIG System as well as Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, SEMCO Energy, TransCanada Pipeline and other Michigan utilities along with the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, Michigan Public Service Commission, Michigan legislators and the national Common Ground Alliance organization, are working diligently to promote the national 811 call before you dig number in an effort to reduce underground utility and pipeline damages; and,

WHEREAS, This Michigan partnership worked together for more than a year to develop and pass Public Act 174 in late 2013 that enhanced the MISS DIG Act, to incorporate best practices for underground digging; and,

WHEREAS, Calling 811 is the best and most safe way to learn the approximate location of underground utilities that include natural gas, electric, phone, internet, water and sewer as well as other pipelines; and,

WHEREAS, Homeowners, excavators, farmers plowing fields and others can save time and money while keeping our state and its residents and workers safe and connected by calling 811 in advance of any small or large digging excavation project; waiting three working days; then respecting the marks by maintaining visual definition throughout the course of the excavation; and finally, by digging with care around the staking/marks; and,

WHEREAS, All parties agree that safety is indeed a shared responsibility. To know what’s below, everyone is urged to call 811 before digging; and,

WHEREAS, Through the partnership with these and other utilities, one call centers and state and local governments, the 811 campaign continues to educate, inform and raise awareness among Michigan residents and excavators about safe digging;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2015 as Safe Digging Month in Michigan.