An Altoona company has been ordered to pay a $5,000 fine for failing to call and check for underground hazards before it started digging a trench for a project. Bob Brammer of the Iowa Attorney General’s office says it’s a case where things could have been a lot worse.
Brammer says there were five high pressure hazardous liquid pipelines in the vicinity of the excavation. “Thank goodness they didn’t hit any of ’em because it could have been a disaster,” Brammer said. Rogers Automated Entrances was fined for not using Iowa One Call , a service that locates any underground lines.
Brammer says it’s simple once you make the call, the site is marked for any pipelines, or fiber option lines or telephone lines. He says the One Call Center is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Brammer says this case is a prime example of why anyone who is doing any kind of digging should call, as there were pipelines carrying propane, pipelines carrying refined petroleum, a pipeline carrying crude oil, and three fiber optics lines in the area and the excavation was within 23 feet of the 12-inch propane pipeline.
Brammer says the company could have faced a much higher fine had they hit a line and the operator of the machinery could have been killed or injured, plus he says it could have disrupted vital services to thousands and done harm to the environment. Brammer advises you to call Iowa’s One Call Center at 1-800-292-8989, or via the national 8-1-1 number if you’re planning to do any digging.