Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has filed lawsuits against four companies that allegedly failed to check for buried underground gas lines before digging. One of the cases resulted in a death and a serious injury. Miller’s Chief of Staff Eric Tabor says problems can be avoided with the “One Call” program. The lawsuits in Delaware, Jones, Fayette and Chickasaw counties all allege that different companies failed to provide notification prior to digging near pipelines designed to carry natural gas. Tabor says it must become habit to dial in to “One Call.”The suits seek penalties up to 10-thousand dollars per day and injunctionsbarring any further violations. In one case, an infraction proved fatal whena worker died responding to a ruptured line in Fayette County in November of1999. Tabor says incidents where companies get into trouble by not callingahead are generally uncommon.Tabor says homeowners also need to adhere to the rules, whether they’re building a deck or digging a garden.Again, that toll-free number to reach the Iowa One Call Center is:800-292-8989. Once notified, the center sends “locate requests” to utilitieswho in turn quickly mark the ground with flags or paint to mark undergroundlines. Tabor says it’s just coincidence that all offenders were in EasternIowa. The Fayette County case is against Recker Construction Inc. The Clinton County Case is against Bruhn Brothers Incorporated for an incident in Welton, Iowa. The Jones and Delaware County Cases are against Klima Tiling. The Chickasaw County case is against Walter Wenthold Excavating Inc.
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