CGA’s 2012 DIRT Report Confirms Importance Of Calling 811

October 2013, Vol. 68 No. 10

For the first time in 2012, the DIRT Report analyzed the potential adverse effects of one call notification exemption requirements on the rate of damages by state. The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act passed by Congress in 2011 require the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to complete similar analysis, which is currently underway. The 2012 DIRT Report showed that in general, as the number of exemption notifications increases, the rate of damage increases. For the 36 states examined, the damage rate per 1,000 one call tickets is more than double (108 percent greater) for states with five or more notification exemptions, as compared to states with fewer than five exemptions.

Also for the first time this year, the DIRT Report made regional comparisons of data by the nine U.S. census divisions and Canada, as opposed to the eight One Call Systems International (OCSI) regions. This geographical analysis allows the DIRT Report to make more localized damage prevention recommendations, and will allow DIRT data to be more easily compared to other government and published statistics reported by census division.

The 2012 DIRT Report again provided recommendations to damage prevention stakeholders based on CGA’s data analysis, as it has for the last two years. These include continuing to improve the quality of data submitted by referring stakeholders to the DIRT Users’ Guide; promoting 811 as critical to safety; examining the number of, combination of, and rationale for notification exemptions; and more.

The report also notes that occupants and farmers are the most likely not to call 811 prior to digging, with two-thirds (66 percent) of damages involving these excavator groups having not been preceded by a locate request. This suggests that outreach continue to be targeted to these groups.

The complete DIRT Annual Report for 2012 is available for download at www.commongroundalliance.com.