Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(6) Pennsylvania corporation created to help protect the underground facilities of members through communication with any person planning to disturb the earth. This communication network receives and processes underground line location requests from excavators, contractors, plumbers, builders, designers, and the general public; and disseminates this work location information to all members based on their service agreements. The principal place of business is located at 925 Irwin Run Rd., West Mifflin, PA 15122. The Disaster Recovery backup site is the Ohio Utilities Protection Service in Youngstown, OH.
THE COMPANY’S MISSION
Our purpose is to prevent damage to underground facilities. To promote safety, we provide an efficient and effective communications network among project owners, designers, excavators, and facility owners.
THE COMPANY’S VISION
Pennsylvania One Call: The Keystone of Damage Prevention
We are a service company dedicated to minimizing utility service interruptions, reducing on-the-job injuries and deaths, promoting a higher level of public safety and protecting the environment.
The company can be reached using the national call before you dig number of 8-1-1 or through its toll free telephone number 800-242-1776 by anyone requesting location of underground lines prior to digging. The service is available 24 hours per day, every day of the year. Information is obtained from the person planning or scheduling excavation or demolition. In addition to phoning the call center, users with credentials that have taken the Web Ticket Entry training may enter their dig notices via our website www.paonecall.org . The collected data is referred to as a Work Location Request, ‘Dig Notice’ or ‘Ticket’. A copy of the work location request is emailed to users and to callers that provide their email address which includes a link to the map of the work site.
Whether the notice information is gathered by phone or entered via the web, it is disseminated to underground facility owner/operators via email, data modem, or fax and voice relayed to their emergency personnel outside normal business hours when requested. The system accepts automated responses from facility operators and relays them to the excavator or designer.
In addition, we provide an electronic “member mapping” service which allows members to define polygonal notification areas with adjustable buffers to reduce the number of non-involved dig notices they receive. Persons reporting planned excavation also benefit from our electronic mapping as they can draw a polygon to delineate the proposed excavation area, notifying only the members within the drawn polygon, saving themselves time and money, as they do not need to research or respond to dig notices outside their service territory.
Design notifications are the first step in effective damage prevention efforts. The Design Drawing Exchange portal was launched in early 2012 to allow designers to electronically share geo-registered pdfs with member facility owners, saving time, paper, and postage.
Complex Projects are processed via the Pre-Construction Meeting Request portal, used to coordinate meetings between excavators and facility owners, track project scope, attendees and the agreed upon locate schedules. Launching Web Ticket Entry from the PCMR portal automatically references the Meeting Request Number, tying all related documentation together.
Public Awareness is a critical part of the service we provide. Safety presentations are available to facility owner/operators, designers, excavators, and first responders. We heighten public awareness through our regional Safety Days, attendance at trade shows and safety conferences, homeowner outreach via postcards and surrounding neighbor postcards, banner programs, print ads, radio ads and other media options, including Pandora. We also provide mailing services for compliance with state and federal regulations.
Since its inception in 1972, Pennsylvania One Call System has increased its membership from 6 utilities in one county to 3,502 underground facility owner/operators in all 67 counties from the following industries: cable television, electric, gas, propane, Marcellus shale, pipeline, sewer, telecommunications, telephone, water and government, including state, county, city, borough, townships of the 1st class, townships of the 2nd class, and municipal authorities. Members also include private master meter companies, manufactured housing communities, and private entities, such as schools, hospitals, manufacturing sites, owning underground facilities which cross public roads.
Use of the service increased from 389 work location requests the first year reaching a record breaking 755,843 in 2014.
DEVELOPMENT TO DATE
Established in September 1972, the service covered 6 utilities serving Allegheny County in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
· In April 1975, Act 287 (1974) went into effect requiring excavators to call before digging, and expanded the service area to 11 counties. At that time, in honor of the 1776 United States Bicentennial, the toll free number 800-242-1776 was added as an additional way to reach the call center. Expansion continued across the Commonwealth in 1977, adding Central Pennsylvania in a merger with JUNE (Joint Utility Notification for Excavators) and the Southeastern counties were added in September 1977.
Having established the Call Before You Dig concept in the state, the Pennsylvania One Call System and the contractor associations sought passage of legislation mandating participation by all underground facility owner/operators.
· Enactment of Act 172 (1986) brought major growth and clearly established the need for a full time staff to coordinate member services and perform the duties of the corporation. Enactment of Act 38 (1991) placed new responsibilities on engineers, architects, contractors, facility owners and municipalities.
· Enactment of Act 187 (1996) brought about change in the composition and structure of the Board of Directors and provided for greater enforcement abilities involving the PA Department of Labor & Industry (Department).
· At the Department’s request, Act 199 (2004) provided the Department greater enforcement authority and redefined the administrative fines and penalties.
· Enactment of Act 181 (2006) incorporated Subsurface Utility Engineering requirements, began requiring adherence to CGA Best Practices by reference, defined responsibilities of a project owner and a complex project, gave the Board of Directors the ability to define the maximum area of a notification and included other factors concerning the operation of the System.
· Act 121 (2008) clarified the “good Samaritan” which allows facility owners to identify the location of underground lines which they do not own as a helpful guide to excavators without assuming liability for their efforts.
Today, Pennsylvania One Call System serves all 67 counties and employs over 75 people. Our development goals are for increased participation by all underground facility owner/operators, project owners, designers and excavators, with special emphasis on those from new technology areas, which includes the Marcellus Shale production companies and the Oil & Gas production companies.
LEGAL STATUS AND OWNERSHIP
Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc. is incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and registered as a non-profit corporation under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code. A 36 member Board of Directors representing each underground facility industry, including board seats for contractors, designers, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Departments of Labor and Industry and Transportation governs it. The President & Executive Director, William G. Kiger, is the Chief Operating Officer of the corporation since 1974.
Funding of the company has come from notification service fees to members. Increased revenues from growth are used to offset operating expenses. A lesser amount comes from collection of excavator fees which are used to offset the cost of membership for municipalities and municipal authorities. A portion of the excavator fee will be used to fund PUC enforcement effort once the legislation passes.