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  • 11 Oct 2019 8:20 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    CCGA DIRT Report Estimates Damage to Buried Utilities Continues to Cost Canada at Least $1 Billion Every Year

    NIAGARA FALLS, ONT. (Oct. 9, 2019) – The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) released the 2018 Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report in Niagara Falls, Ontario on Wednesday during its annual National Damage Prevention Symposium. This report presents characteristics, themes and contributing factors leading to damages in Canada as reported via the DIRT system.

    Download the Report

    In 2018, there were 11,693 damages reported via DIRT for Canada; on average, 47 reported damages per work day (assuming 254 work days per year). The societal cost of these damages to underground infrastructure in Canada continues to be estimated at least $1 billion per year.

    Among all damage reports with an identified and known root cause, 22% occurred because no locate request was made to a One Call Centre and 38% were the result of insufficient excavation practices.

    While reporting damages in DIRT is voluntary, the data is critical for the CCGA to determine root causes and develop mitigating measures to reduce and eliminate them.


    • 11,693 damages voluntarily reported in 2018 – 2.6% higher than 2017.
    • 47 damages occurred per work day.
    • 22% of damages are the direct result of not making a locate request to a One Call Centre.
    • Damages cost Canadians $1 Billion annually.

    The complete 2018 DIRT Report is available to download at www.canadiancga.com. Stakeholders interested in submitting data to the 2019 report, or establish a Virtual Private Dirt account, should visit the DIRT website at www.cga-dirt.com.

    The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing public safety, and increasing the integrity and reliability of Canada’s underground utility infrastructure through the development and implementation of effective and efficient damage prevention practices across Canada. As Canada’s unified voice on damage prevention, the CCGA attracts members from all Canadian national organizations and associations who share common damage prevention and public safety solutions. The CCGA and its Regional Partners welcome all stakeholders who wish to be part of the identification and promotion of best practices that reduce damage to buried utilities.

    Mike Sullivan
    President – Canadian Common Ground Alliance

    Media Inquiries: info@CanadianCGA.com

    Know What's Below

  • 23 Aug 2019 7:51 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The ABCGA and the BCCGA are pleased to announce that Global Training Centre have been endorsed to the Ground Disturbance 201 (British Columbia) Standard!

    Global Training Centre have been granted full endorsement of their Ground Disturbance Level II classroom training program as meeting the requirements of the Ground Disturbance 201 (British Columbia) Standard, effective as of Aug. 21, 2019.

    See our list of endorsed training providers.

  • 07 Aug 2019 10:08 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    News Release

    Mandatory Web Locate Requests for Contractors and Members

    Beginning September 16, 2019, all Contractor and Member locate requests must be submitted online. Following a three-month grace period, this mandate will be enforced January 1, 2020.


    Locate requests submitted by phone are more likely to result in damage to underground infrastructure due to challenges associated with verbally relaying the precise location of proposed excavations. When a locate request is placed online through the web portal, however, precise dig site information is drawn on a map by the excavating party and relayed directly from them to the utility owner and/or their locating crew eliminating verbal description and interpretation challenges. In relation to this, Alberta One-Call Corporation examined all damages to underground infrastructure in Calgary and Edmonton between June 2017 and May 2018 and concluded a significantly higher rate of damage, respectively in those cities, when locate requests were submitted by phone rather than the web.


    Emergency and Homeowner locate requests, and locate requests placed by satellite phone for ground disturbances in locations where there is no cellular service, are exempt from this rule.

    Shifting from “Call” to ClickBeforeYouDig

    The majority of Contractors and Members have already shifted the locate request process to the web. In June 2019, 90% of all locate requests from Contractors, and 93% of all locate requests from Alberta One-Call Members, were submitted online.

    How to prepare

    AOC hosts weekly web-training webinars. Sign-up for the next one HERE.


    Please send questions to Info@AlbertaOneCall.com.

    Thank you,

    Mike Sullivan
    Alberta One-Call Corporation

  • 15 Jun 2019 8:33 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The new Large Project Ticket for locate requests in Western Canada will go live on Monday, June 17.

    For contractors who are undertaking large, pre-planned projects—where work will occur over large areas and continue for a significant length of time—the new ticket type will allow them to map much larger areas on a single ticket: up to 800,000 square metres in an urban area, or up to 4.2 square kilometres in a rural area.

    The new ticket type is being introduced in order to resolve unforeseen issues related to dig site restrictions which appeared following the release of the new one-call software in Western Canada.

    With the release of the new ticket type, previous changes to regular project tickets will be partially rolled back. The interim changes, made in March, had temporarily increased the maximum dig-site size for urban and rural areas. On June 17, the maximum dig-site size for project tickets in rural areas will be reduced from 4.2 square kilometres to 800,000 square metres; however, the maximum size for project tickets in urban areas will remain at 60,000 square metres.

    The new large project ticket type and the recent changes to regular project tickets will reduce the number of tickets that excavators and locators must manage while working on large jobs, reduce the risk of gaps occurring in the mapped work area whenever multiple tickets are required, and facilitate the timely completion of locates for large jobs.

  • 15 Jun 2019 8:26 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    Before You Dig Partners (BYDP) are continuing their free weekly webinar series, which reviews the submission process and recent changes to the one-call software, to help customers address any issues or hurdles they have encountered.

    Their previous webinar series, which ran from March 14 until May 30, has now been expanded into a “basics” webinar and an “advanced” webinarThe first webinar covers the basics of submitting locate requests online using the new software, while the second “advanced” session, highlights complex ticket types and reviews recent software changes.

    The webinar series is held each Thursday from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM Mountain Time and will alternate weekly between the “basics” session and the “advanced” session. The new sessions began June 13 and will run until September 26.

    Register for the Basics Webinar.

    Register for the Advanced Webinar.

  • 30 May 2019 9:10 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The process for safely conducting activities near interprovincial or international power lines is currently provided in the NEB Act and in the Power Line Crossing Regulations under the NEB Act.

    The proposed Canadian Energy Regulator Act, as part of Bill C-69, updates the regulatory framework for safely conducting activities near interprovincial or international power lines to match that already in place for pipelines damage prevention. It reflects modern damage prevention regulatory frameworks and practices in place across Canada. As a result the regulations need to be updated.

    A Consultation Paper including the proposed Power Line Damage Prevention Regulations is available on the NRCan website for comment. If you have comments on the proposed regulations, please send them by June 7, 2019 to the damage prevention email address (PLdamagepreventionregs@neb-one.gc) provided in the Consultation Paper.

    Once the comment period closes, written comments will be posted on the NRCan Public Consultations Opportunities web page. Your comments will be reviewed and considered as part of the completion of the regulations, related document and communications. The final Regulations, along with the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statements will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, following Royal Assent of Bill C-69. A summary of the comments received, as well as a detailed outline of any changes to the proposed Regulations, will be provided in the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statements.

    Please visit the NRCan website for information and updates on the proposed regulations. You may also sign up there to be included in an email distribution list for receiving updates as the Regulations are developed, including information on public engagement opportunities.

  • 18 May 2019 6:50 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The ABCGA is pleased to announce that Southeast College have been endorsed to the Ground Disturbance 201 (Alberta) Standard!

    Southeast College have been granted full endorsement of their Ground Disturbance for Supervisors and Workers classroom training program as meeting the requirements of the Ground Disturbance 201 (Alberta) Standard, effective as of May 8, 2019.

    See our list of endorsed training providers.

  • 01 Mar 2019 8:21 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    A big day for damage prevention in Alberta! The Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship has recommended that Bill 211 proceed. The committee's final report will be presented to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta later in March.

    We'd like to thank everyone who came out to the committee's meeting on Tuesday to support Bill 211! Your support got Bill 211 approved by the committee!

    If you would like to read the transcripts from the Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship meetings, they are available on the committee's website.

    With a provincial election approaching, we know it's unlikely that Bill 211 will receive another reading by the legislature. However, our goal has always been the recommendation by the Resource Stewardship Committee. The committee's report will provide us with a big step forward once the Legislative Assembly reconvenes following the provincial election. It will move us that much closer to comprehensive damage prevention legislation in Alberta!

    Thank you again for all of your support!


    All of us at the ABCGA

  • 14 Feb 2019 11:14 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    Edmonton, AB: Saturday March 2nd, The Alberta Common Ground Alliance will be recognizing the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Mill Woods gas line explosion. A tragic event that left one man permanently disfigured, led to the evacuation of 17,000+ Mill Woods residents, and resulted in the creation of Alberta One Call and the Call Before You Dig initiative across Canada.

    Discover more about this local history that changed a nation Saturday March 2nd between 2:00 and 4:00 in front of the Mill Woods Public Library. The event will feature illustrated panels retelling the events of the explosion, buried infrastructure interactive demos, emergency responders and more. Expect a family friendly event with something for everyone.

    The goal of the commemoration is to remember this unique local history while educating residents of the importance of Clicking Before You Dig and the consequences of buried infrastructure strikes. Consequences that cost Albertans $960,000 daily and endanger lives.

    Sponsors of the event in addition to The Alberta Common Ground Alliance (ABCGA) include Alberta One Call and Edmonton Are Pipeline & Utility Operators’ Committee (EAPUOC). Additional support has been provided by the Mill Woods Presidents’ Council (MWPC), the Mill Woods Public Library and the City of Edmonton.

    About the Mill Woods Presidents’ Council: Since 1983 the Mill Woods Presidents’ Council has served as southeast Edmonton’s area council, striving to realize a safe and supportive community to live, work and play.

    Our mission is to identify opportunities for community improvement through a recurring forum that brings together leaders, stakeholders and elected officials; then champion solutions through partnerships and the collective effort of the community leagues of southeast Edmonton.

    Download News Release

  • 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

    Download Media Release

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  • 21 Oct 2019 7:30 AM
    Delta Hotels by Marriott Edmonton South Conference Centre, 4404 Gateway Blvd NW, Edmonton

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