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  • 29 Nov 2018 9:37 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    Proposed legislation could help save Albertans $350 million a year

    Download Media Release

    CALGARY, ALBERTA (Nov. 28, 2018) – At long last, provincial damage prevention legislation has been tabled in the Alberta Legislature. Bill 211, the Alberta Underground Infrastructure Notification System Consultation Act, was put forward for first reading by MLA Dave Schneider on November 28, 2018. The bill not only passed first reading on Wednesday, but was also referred to the Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship.

    “This is a momentous day for Alberta’s damage prevention stakeholders,” says Darcy Hurlock, chair of the Alberta Common Ground Alliance. “The introduction of Bill 211 paves the way for comprehensive damage prevention legislation in Alberta.”

    Bill 211 proposes that a committee of the Legislative Assembly recommend amendments to legislation that will improve safety for excavators and further protect underground infrastructure in Alberta. The committee will consult with key stakeholders in Alberta on the process for a safe damage prevention process, including mandatory registration of buried infrastructure with Alberta One-Call Corporation (AOC).

    “They may be hidden from sight, but we can’t afford to ignore Alberta’s buried facilities,” says Hurlock. “Ongoing data shows that there’s still an increasing risk to the integrity of Alberta’s underground infrastructure, as well as public, worker and community safety, from uncontrolled excavations.”

    • Over 50% of damages are a result of not submitting a locate request to Alberta One-Call prior to excavation.
    • There are approximately 11 line hits per work day in Alberta.
    • Damages result in societal costs, which include deployment of emergency services, evacuations, and environmental mitigation. These damages cost Albertans over $350 Million per year.
    • The average societal cost of a single damaged facility is $80,000.

    An example of how damages can impact a community is Grande Cache. They have been without internet five times in the past 24 months, for 18 hours at a time. Anyone with less than a quarter tank of gas can’t leave town to drive to Edmonton or Grand Prairie unless they have cash on hand because electronic payments don’t work at their local gas station.

    Visit the Legislative Assembly of Alberta website to read the bill.

    Media Inquiries:

    Sean Sullivan
    Communications Director
    Alberta Common Ground Alliance
    (833) 344-7233
    comms@albertacga.ca

    Download Media Release

  • 22 Nov 2018 11:32 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    CBC News has published an article on frequent damages to buried utilities in Alberta and the push for damage prevention legislation in the province.

    Read the article here.

  • 05 Nov 2018 10:45 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The CCGA released the latest version of the national Underground Infrastructure Damage Prevention Best Practices and the 2017 DIRT Report during their national Damage Prevention Symposium last week in Whistler, B.C.

    Best Practices Version 3 includes multiple additions and amendments since the last version was released:

    • New Practice 3-23, Alternative Locate Method(s)
    • New Practice 3-24, Electronic and Paper Locate Report Format
    • New Practice 6-1, Underground Infrastructure Owner Damage Prevention Program
    • Modification to Practice 2-7, Voice Record of All Incoming Calls (renamed as Documented Record of All Locate Requests)
    • Modification to Practice 2-16, Locate Request
    • Modification to Practice 2.26, All Buried Facility Owners are Members of the Notification Service
    • Modification to Practice 2-27, Excavators Contact the notification service Before Excavating
    • Modification to Practice 4-22, Relocate Request
    • Modification to Practice 4-35, Pre Demolition Verification Process
    • Modification to Practice 5-1, Notification Service Responsibilities and Use of Mapping
    • Modification to Practice 5-2, Locator Responsibilities and Use of Mapping
    • Modification to Practice 5-4, Owner Responsibilities for Mapping Records
    Download a copy of the new Best Practices Version 3 here.


    The 2017 DIRT Report presents characteristics, themes and contributing factors leading to damages in Canada as reported via the DIRT system during 2017. This year, damage data includes reports from the Atlantic region and Manitoba.

    In addition, this year a statistical analysis was conducted to test relationships between damages and a set of broader economic variables. The analysis demonstrated statistically significant relationships between damages and a number of independent variables, including employment in construction, construction GDP, notifications and housing starts.

    A total of 11,383 damages were reported in 2017. The most common known root cause of damages was not making a locate request to a One Call Centre (51%). Of those, 74% occurred to electrical or distribution natural gas facilities, posing a high risk to public, worker and community safety.

    Download a copy of the 2017 DIRT Report here.
  • 05 Nov 2018 9:32 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    Before You Dig Partners have announced that they are extending the testing period for the new one-call software and that the cutover date has been pushed back to January 11, 2019.

    Because the time-frame to be involved in software testing was shortened due to delays, Before You Dig Partners have decided to extend the testing period by five weeks in order to give their members and users a comfortable amount of time to test the new system prior to cutover, and have moved the cutover date until after the holiday season.

    If you would like to join a testing group for the new software, visit BeforeYouDigPartners.com.

    In addition, Before You Dig Partners are running a series of webinars throughout November on the new one-call software. To sign up for a webinar click here.

    The new one-call software remains on-track to be completed by November 30 — the original cutover date.

    Visit BeforeYouDigPartners.com for more information.


  • 13 Sep 2018 1:53 PM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The Alberta Common Ground Alliance would like to welcome the newest members of our Board of Directors: Gary Mason, with LineStar Utility Supply, and Jeff Mulligan, with Astec Safety!

    • Gary Mason is the new Stakeholder Group Director for Equipment / Material/Services Supply for 2018–2020.
    • Jeff Mulligan is the new Stakeholder Group Director for Training Organizations for 2018–2020.

    Other Stakeholder Group Director positions up for election were: Electrical Transmission, Locators, Municipal / Public Works, and Road Builders / Heavy Construction.

    • Dean Battershill, with Enmax, has been re-elected as director of Electrical Transmission.
    • Randy Palaniukwith thCanadian Association of Pipeline and Utility Locating Contractors, has been re-elected as director of Locators.
    • Ian Ross, with the City of Calgary, has been re-elected as director of Municipal / Public Works.
    • Matt Cooper, with Standard General, has been re-elected as director of Road Builders / Heavy Construction.
  • 13 Sep 2018 1:15 PM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The Alberta Common Ground Alliance (ABCGA) is proud to announce that we have awarded Bruce Partington with the Bob Chisholm Award! The award was presented during the 2018 Annual General Meeting on September 12.

    The Bob Chisholm Award recognizes individuals for their extraordinary efforts in promoting and encouraging safe ground disturbance practices.

    Bruce Partington is a longstanding member of Alberta’s damage prevention community. He spent 45 years involved with the Rural Gas Program, developing strategies and programs that reduce the damages to Alberta's infrastructure. He joined the Rural Utilities Division of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in 1984, having worked for 11 years with an engineering firm building rural gas distribution systems. Upon his retirement from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in 2013 he began a new career as a consultant for the Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops.

    Alongside his work with Rural Utilities, Bruce was a member of EAPUOC for more than 15 years, managing the mascot program and other community awareness programs since 1992. He helped increase awareness of Alberta One Call, and educated younger generations about the importance of calling before you dig. He has also chaired a number of CSA technical subcommittees under the Canadian Oil and Gas Pipeline and Polyethylene Gas Pipe Manufacturing Standards.

    Bruce is also a founding member of the ABCGA. He was chair of the Alberta Damage Prevention Council when it transitioned into the ABCGA in 2011 and he served on the executive until 2016. Our Education and Marketing committee has benefited from Bruce’s involvement for years, and his support for the annual Safety Conference has been instrumental, bringing in participants and securing sponsorship that has made the conference affordable for contractors.

    Bruce's attitude while supporting ABCGA activities has fostered a co-operative relationship between the digging community, infrastructure owners, educators and the public.

    From all of us at the ABCGA: Thank you Bruce!

  • 05 Sep 2018 2:13 PM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) Damage Prevention Symposium has received Gold Seal Accreditation from the Canadian Construction Association's National Gold Seal Committee.

    Those attending the 2018 Damage Prevention Symposium in Whistler, BC on Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 can now earn a Gold Seal Credit while attending the symposium's sessions.

    The Gold Seal Certification Program is a national construction standard of certification for management professionals in the heavy civil and construction industry.

    To register for the 2018 CCGA Symposium: click here.

  • 05 Sep 2018 1:50 PM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The British Columbia Common Ground Alliance (BCCGA) and the Alberta Common Ground Alliance (ABCGA) have signed a licensing agreement for the new Ground Disturbance 201 Standard (British Columbia) which will facilitate the development of BC-specific branding on endorsed training certificates and promotion of the standard throughout the province. The licensing agreement is the next step in rolling out the supervisor-level training standard.

    The BC Common Ground Alliance is currently accepting applications to access the Ground Disturbance 201 Standard (British Columbia). Training providers who operate in British Columbia and are looking for endorsement to the new Ground Disturbance 201 Standard (British Columbia) can download an application-to-access form here.

    The Ground Disturbance 201 Standard (British Columbia) was developed by the Alberta Common Ground Alliance (ABCGA) Training Standards Committee with input from stakeholders in the ground disturbance and buried facility damage prevention communities in British Columbia through the BCCGA. It defines the minimum content and student evaluation requirements for classroom and online training programs suitable for those that wish to ultimately become ground disturbance supervisors.

    The ABCGA is managing the application and certification process on behalf of BCCGA.

    For more information about the standard, visit the BCCGA website.

  • 17 Aug 2018 12:57 PM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The 7th Annual General Meeting of the ABCGA will be held at the Baymont Inn Hotel and Conference Centre in Red Deer on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. The two-year terms of the following Directors will expire at that time:

    • Dean Battershill (Enmax Power Corporation) – Electrical Transmission/Distribution
    • Brian Colledge (LineStar Utility Supply) – Equipment/Material/Services Supply
    • Randy Palaniuk (CAPULC) – Locators
    • Ian Ross (City of Calgary) – Public Works/Municipal
    • Matt Cooper (Standard General) – Roadbuilders/Heavy Construction
    • Bas Owel (Global Training Centre) – Training Organizations

    Elections will be held during the AGM to elect Directors from the following stakeholder and combined stakeholder groups:

    • Electrical Transmission/Distribution 
    • Equipment/Material/Services Supply
    • Locators
    • Public Works/Municipal
    • Roadbuilders/Heavy Construction
    • Training Organizations

    The ABCGA is seeking nominations for the Stakeholder Group Director positions for the 2018–2020 term.

    If you would like to put your name forward or nominate another individual from your stakeholder group please forward your expression of interest or nomination to ‪admin@digsafeab.ca by August 21, 2018.

  • 02 Aug 2018 1:30 PM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) has launched a national monthly newsletter, "Know What's Below." The newsletter is a way for regional partners — like the Alberta Common Ground Alliance (ABCGA) — to share news and updates with Common Ground Alliance members across Canada.

    Check out the first issue here.

    If you'd like to subscribe to the 'Know What's Below' Newsletter, click here.

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