New laws include tougher penalties for violation of safe digging rules.
In Wyoming, the laws have changed when it comes to excavation projects. Whether you’re a home owner or a contractor, you should be aware of the new requirements in order to dig safely and legally.
“The Wyoming Underground Facilities Notification Act, or simply put, Wyoming’s excavation laws have changed effective July 1, 2019 for the first time in almost a decade, said Jan Warren, Executive Director of One-Call of Wyoming. “These changes were necessary in order to meet and/or exceed National Safety standards as they relate to excavation and operators in Wyoming.”
Non-compliance with excavation laws can result in fines ranging from $5 thousand dollars for the first offense, up to $75 thousand dollars for subsequent violations.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to protect underground utilities/facilities and those residents and businesses in which they serve,” said Warren. “From planting a tree, to burying a pipeline, no matter the project if you are turning over soil you need to be familiar with the law and in compliance with it.”
According to data collected by Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. “
Safety is always our first priority at Black Hills Energy, and we want to help our customers stay safe,” said Shirley Welte, Black Hills Energy’s Wyoming vice president of natural gas and electric operations. “When you’re planning to dig, don’t make a judgment call, make a phone call; call 811 at least two business days before you plan to dig.”
To highlight this issue, Black Hills Energy will reward those who make a practice of safe digging. On Friday, August 9, Black Hills Energy gas and electric teams will deliver 811 logoed coolers filled with water and Gatorade to local construction crews who comply with 811 digging laws.