Senate Committees Hold Joint Hearing on Work by the State’s “Dig Safe” Board

November 06, 2019

Media Advisory from the Office of State Senator Jerry Hill
Hearing 10 AM Friday, November 8, in the State Capitol
Progress by the Dig Safe Board

Senate Committees Hold Joint Hearing on Work by the State’s “Dig Safe” Board

SACRAMENTO – State Senator Jerry Hill, as chair of the Subcommittee on Gas, Electric and Transportation Safety, and Senator Steven Glazer, as chair of the Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development, will hold a hearing in the Capitol on Friday on progress made by the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board, better known as the Dig Safe Board, as it approaches its third year in operation.

WHAT: Hearing on the “Dig Safe” Board: “Safety from the Ground Up”

WHEN: 10 AM, Friday, November 8, 2019

WHERE: State Capitol, Room 3191, Third Floor

HOW to WATCH: The hearing is open to the public. Also, a live stream will be available at https://senate.ca.gov/. From the landing page, go to the calendar, click on November 8, scroll to the listing for the hearing, and click on the “Watch” button. The button will appear a few minutes before the hearing.

Background and resource material: Established by the Dig Safe Act of 2016, SB 661 (Hill), the California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board is responsible for developing excavation safety standards, investigating excavation accidents and coordinating education and outreach programs.

The legislation and formation of the board were spurred by fatalities and injuries caused by excavators striking the underground infrastructure of utilities. That infrastructure includes water mains, conduits carrying telecommunications cables or electrical lines, and natural gas and oil pipelines. They co-exist with workers who must excavate to get their jobs done, including utility employees, builders, landscapers and farmers, as well as homeowners tackling improvement projects. While dig-ins are the main cause of gas pipeline accidents, all underground infrastructure and individuals who must excavate in their vicinity are vulnerable in accidental strikes. The hearing Friday will review the Dig Safe Board’s progress in advancing safety and areas of possible improvement.

The hearing agenda is available here:
https://seuc.senate.ca.gov/sites/seuc.senate.ca.gov/files/11-04-19_agenda.pdf

Further hearing information including the Dig Safe Board’s 2019 Annual Plan is available here:
https://seuc.senate.ca.gov/content/2019-2020-subcommittee-hearings

In December 2015, Senator Hill held a hearing on fatal dig-in accidents involving gas pipelines. See material from that hearing here:
https://seuc.senate.ca.gov/content/2015-2016-subcommittee-hearings-0
and here: https://seuc.senate.ca.gov/sites/seuc.senate.ca.gov/files/12-17-15_background.pdf

In June 2013, Senator Hill held a hearing on damage caused by dig-ins and on then-prevalent best practices. See material from that hearing here:
https://seuc.senate.ca.gov/content/2013-2014-subcommittee-hearings
and here: https://seuc.senate.ca.gov/sites/seuc.senate.ca.gov/files/6-4-13background.pdf

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Media contact: Leslie Guevarra, 415-298-3404, leslie.guevarra@sen.ca.gov