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Damage Prevention Committee

Minutes of Maryland/DC Damage Prevention Meeting
August 25, 2008
Miss Utility Call Center
Hanover, MD  21076

9:35 - Meeting called to order

  • Introductions
  • Request for attendees to sign in
  • Minutes of July 22 approved

Safety topic – Back to school driving

Chris – Diamond Dig Update

  • 3 times the value of the sponsorship was achieved
  • 37 people participated
  • Story on the front page of a section in the Washington Post the following Thursday (8/7/08)


  • No update – Meeting today

Contractor Nights

  • Online registration up
  • 3 emails in for 11/6

Damage Prevention Presentations

  • Wagman – We recently had a meeting there – received a note from us that they are approaching 2 years without a lost-time accident. They’d like to invite those who attended the presentation visit them on Oct. 1 at noon as they celebrate at the Wilson Bridge Project.
  • Turner – Matt Ruddo gave an update – Good event – Greg Johnson (PEPCO) provided points of contact due to communication issues in the past.
  • Frederick County Govt. Picnic – Wayne Gilmer sent promotional items. Typically have 700-900 people attend from a homeowner perspective as well as DPW employees who do excavation work as part of their jobs.

Trade shows

  • Saw new faces at MACO – lots of questions about Verizon fiber build – getting people to understand why paint is a good thing to have on the ground – color-code cards were popular.
  • All booked on remaining events for this year. Wayne encouraged everyone to communicate with Nick as needed if changes arise.

Marking Standards Group

  • Wayne was proud to say that the booklets are done.
  • Wayne thanked the Marking Standards Committee for the hard work and collaboration that made it possible.
  • Wayne reminded everyone that this is a guide and meant to be used as such.
  • Tom Baldwin thanked everyone for achieving this goal in less than 2 years.

Title XII Update

  • Discussions about ticket life have moved forward, and discussions have moved to enforcement conversations.
  • Last meeting was held on 8/12.
  • Next meeting is 9/5. The one after that is 9/26. Both at 8:30 a.m.
  • Made progress on the 9 elements of damage prevention to determine if we are in compliance. We are in compliance with the first 2 with 7 more to go.
  • Tom reminded everyone that there would have to be some concessions made to make a consensus recommendation to lawmakers in Annapolis.
  • Tom also mentioned that proposed legislation is more likely for 2010.
  • Tom also mentioned that state damage prevention grant applications are due in October.

ADC Mapping

  • Working on 4-digit mapping in more counties.

Internet ticketing

  • Still near 70%.


  • 80% of calls are still not completing.
  • Likely due to people transferring out to other states.
  • Chris spoke about the upcoming CGA campaign and that there may be a place for synergy with MU local marketing.
  • Mark H mentioned that the tight geography can play a role.
  • Matt also mentioned that 811 being promoted by utility owners have led people to call 811 about non-DP topics.

FTTP – September
AA – 27,000
Balt – 120,000
Balt City – 1,000
Howard – 57,000
PG – 75,000
Mont – 87,000
Harford – 3,000
Total 370,000

Open Discussion

  • Issue w/MetComm (St. Mary’s) – Inaccurate locating and inability to find their facilities. Using inadequate equipment. A series of callbacks have been documents. They’ve asked for everything. Problem still isn’t solved.
    • Tom Baldwin recommended sending a letter and engaging county or state government to resolve.
    • Tom also mentioned that it’s difficult to secure downtime compensation.

  • A division of St. Mary’s County Govt. isn’t a member of Miss Utility, because there’s a fiber line that can’t be IDed.
  • Mark Hamrick echoed the sentiments about the difficulties of working with MetComm.
  • Tom Baldwin gave a few CGA updates.
    • New Best Practices – all underground owners should be call center members
    • New tech - GPS white lining that goes to call centers – new technology being tested
    • New tech - Outfit excavating equipment with GPS – alert will be sent when someone is outside of the area

  • John – Howard Co. – Question about no mechanized equipment within 18 inches
    • Looking for consensus on what hand digging best practices are confirmed for digging near marks.
    • Tom said that it isn’t written about exactly what “digging prudently” is.
    • MOSH supports – hand or vacuum excavation
    • Question is about “sharp shooters” and if it’s acceptable, but they can be acceptable at times. Ok through steel…not much else.
    • Tom said cleaning up Title 12 for what “prudent” is is a top priority.

  • Tom – It’s always been the understanding that it’s up to the contractor to repair holes that have opened. It’s up to the contractor to stay on site to back fill the site after the gas/electric owner has finished. Tom recommended finding a way to get it into county permit language.
  • Wayne mentioned that it would be a good idea to include staying on site until the facility owner arrives as a best practice.
  • Sherell Stone – Said she’s been on both sides of damage investigations, and it’s frustrating to watch a subcontractor wait four hours to make a repair so they can get on overtime to repair a 4X4 hole.
  • AA County has concerns about marking standards.
    • One case – excavator white-lined with the color of the utility instead.
    • Another – contractor was installing their utility and rather than mark the existing utility with the color of the utility, because they were intending to shadow it, they marked it white instead.
    • Relatively isolated though.

  • Tom mentioned that they locate their own stuff on site when it’s their actual crews. BGE contractors do use.
  • Dennis – Pleasants – Was installing a 42-inch diameter pipe. They approached a 4 inch high pressure pipe (or they thought) they then approached something that was 8 inch black, unmarked Verizon (abandoned). His problem was getting people who wanted to help (Don and Wayne) – was told that he should not dig even though nobody knew for sure what the pipe was. Communication took 4.5 days to resolve. His customer is all over them to get something done. It was resolved. No damage. Dennis hopes the Marking Standards Guide will help, but only if people pay attention to it. Dennis said he was only able to even get it done in 4 ½ days because he’s been involved with MU for 5 years. 4” didn’t get blacked out until the 4th day. Took 3 or 4 phone calls for a supervisor to get out there.
  • Group Discussion – The main problem is getting utility owners to open up something for someone else to determine what something is.
  • Sherell Stone – If something is abandoned, can they dig?
  • Mark H - Utility owner can give approval to cut through it.

Upcoming Trade Shows:

Show name:   Maryland Association of Counties
Date:   August 13th - 16th
City, State:   Ocean City, MD
Place:   Roland Powell Convention Center
Website:   www.mdcounties.org/events/eventDetails.cfm?EventID=58
Show name:   Chesapeake Safety Conference
Date:   September 12th
City, State:  
Show name:   Suburban Maryland Fall Home Show
Date:   September 12th - 14th
City, State:   Germantown, MD
Place:   Discovery Sports Center at Maryland Soccerplex
Website:   www.acshomeshow.com/HGExpo/HGF.html
Show Name:   Harford LIVE!
Date:   September 27th - 29th
City, State:   Aberdeen, MD
Place:   Ripken Stadium
Website:   www.harfordlive.com/assets/har_live_contract.pdf
Show Name:   Maryland Home & Garden Show
Date:   October 17th - 19th
City, State:   Timonium, MD
Place:   Maryland State Fairgrounds
Website:   www.acshomeshow.com/HGExpo/HAF.html>
Show Name:   Suburban Maryland Fall Home Show
Date:   October 24th - 26th
City, State:   Upper Marlboro, MD
Place:   The Show Place Arena
Website:   www.acshomeshow.com/HGExpo/HAF.html

Upcoming Meetings:

The next Maryland/DC Damage Prevention meeting is scheduled for September 23, 2008 at the Miss Utility Center. Coffee and donuts will be served at 9:00 am. The meeting will begin at 9:30 am.

The 2008 Maryland/DC Subscribers meeting will be held on October 10th and December 12th, 2008 at the Miss Utility Center. Coffee and donuts will be served at 9:30 am, and the meeting will begin at 10:00 am.

There being no further business to be brought before the committee, the meeting was adjourned at 11:25 am.

ITIC % Report for Maryland and Washington D.C.
Month   Call Center Tickets   ITIC Tickets   Percentage
Jul-07   75,034   52,724   70%
Aug-07   76,641   54,537   71%
Sep-07   68,418   47,376   69%
Oct-07   74,837   51,712   69%
Nov-07   60,718   42,868   71%
Dec-07   53,677   39,652   74%
Jan-08   58,159   41,586   72%
Feb-08   51,004   36,810   72%
Mar-08   57,239   39,568   69%
Apr-08   63,265   42,709   68%
May-08   60,597   41,305   68%
Jun-08   61,717   42,510   69%
Jul-08   63,231   44,582   71%
Attendee List
Name   Company   Phone   Email
Wayne Gilmer   Utiliquest   301-674-2769   walter.gilmer@utiliquest.com
Dora Parks   Miss Utility Center   410-782-2026   dora@missutility.net
Dennis Lescalleet   Pleasants Construction   301-428-0800   dlescalleet@pleasants.org
Matt Ruddo   Miss Utility Center   410-712-0056   matt@missutility.net
Tom Baldwin   BGE   410-291-3121   t.c.baldwin@bge.com
John Rothe   Southern MD Cable   443-532-7195   jrothe@smcinc.biz
Mark Hamrick   Verizon   410-610-1371   mark.a.hamrick@verizon.com
Karen Watkins   SMECO   301-274-4350   karen.watkins@smeco.coop
Dan Wiles   Utiliquest   410-536-0070   dan.wiles@utiliquest.com
Jeff Walters   Utiliquest   443-790-0063   jeff.walters@utiliquest.com
Tom Hastings   OCCLS   3410-712-0202   thastings@occls.com
Sherell Stone   NPL Construction   410-355-1083   sstone@nplcc.com
Bill Taylor   Verizon   410-916-7726   william.e.taylor.jr@verizon.com
Joe Feronti   Utiliquest   301-343-8762   joe.feronti@utiliquest.com
Raul Torres   Utiliquest   301-343-5224   raul.torres@utiliquest.com
Paul Elwood   Utiliquest   410-536-0070   paul.elwood@utiliquest.com
Kevin Woolbright   WSSC   301-206-8216   kwoolbr@wsscwater.com
Tony Goodman   Washington Gas   703-750-4708   agoodman@washgas.com
Jay Spence   Mirant Piney Point Pipeline   301-751-6269   james.spence@mirant.com
John Seefriend   Howard County Utility Permits   410-313-5712   jseefried@howardcountymd.gov
Greg Johnson   PEPCO   301-670-8735   gmjohnson@pepco.com
Bernie Bratton   PULS   410-800-7066   bernie.bratton@pulsinc.com
Cal Brooks   Howard County   410-313-54352   cbrooks@howardcountymd.gov
Chris McMurry   MGH   410-902-5036   cmcmurry@mghus.com
Nick Kelly   MGH   410-504-8338   nkelly@mghus.com
Bill Dow   CableCom     b.dow@att.net
Alice Gilmore   Long Fence   301-350-2400   agilmore@longfence.com
Martin Wetzler   Long Fence   301-350-2400   mwetzler@longfence.com
Scott Brown   Washington Gas   703-750-4388   ssbrown@washgas.com
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