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  • 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!

    Sincerely,

    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
    comms@albertacga.ca

    Download Media Release

  • 22 Nov 2018 11:32 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    CBC News has published an article on frequent damages to buried utilities in Alberta and the push for damage prevention legislation in the province.

    Read the article here.

  • 05 Nov 2018 10:45 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The CCGA released the latest version of the national Underground Infrastructure Damage Prevention Best Practices and the 2017 DIRT Report during their national Damage Prevention Symposium last week in Whistler, B.C.

    Best Practices Version 3 includes multiple additions and amendments since the last version was released:

    • New Practice 3-23, Alternative Locate Method(s)
    • New Practice 3-24, Electronic and Paper Locate Report Format
    • New Practice 6-1, Underground Infrastructure Owner Damage Prevention Program
    • Modification to Practice 2-7, Voice Record of All Incoming Calls (renamed as Documented Record of All Locate Requests)
    • Modification to Practice 2-16, Locate Request
    • Modification to Practice 2.26, All Buried Facility Owners are Members of the Notification Service
    • Modification to Practice 2-27, Excavators Contact the notification service Before Excavating
    • Modification to Practice 4-22, Relocate Request
    • Modification to Practice 4-35, Pre Demolition Verification Process
    • Modification to Practice 5-1, Notification Service Responsibilities and Use of Mapping
    • Modification to Practice 5-2, Locator Responsibilities and Use of Mapping
    • Modification to Practice 5-4, Owner Responsibilities for Mapping Records
    Download a copy of the new Best Practices Version 3 here.


    The 2017 DIRT Report presents characteristics, themes and contributing factors leading to damages in Canada as reported via the DIRT system during 2017. This year, damage data includes reports from the Atlantic region and Manitoba.

    In addition, this year a statistical analysis was conducted to test relationships between damages and a set of broader economic variables. The analysis demonstrated statistically significant relationships between damages and a number of independent variables, including employment in construction, construction GDP, notifications and housing starts.

    A total of 11,383 damages were reported in 2017. The most common known root cause of damages was not making a locate request to a One Call Centre (51%). Of those, 74% occurred to electrical or distribution natural gas facilities, posing a high risk to public, worker and community safety.

    Download a copy of the 2017 DIRT Report here.
  • 05 Nov 2018 9:32 AM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    Before You Dig Partners have announced that they are extending the testing period for the new one-call software and that the cutover date has been pushed back to January 11, 2019.

    Because the time-frame to be involved in software testing was shortened due to delays, Before You Dig Partners have decided to extend the testing period by five weeks in order to give their members and users a comfortable amount of time to test the new system prior to cutover, and have moved the cutover date until after the holiday season.

    If you would like to join a testing group for the new software, visit BeforeYouDigPartners.com.

    In addition, Before You Dig Partners are running a series of webinars throughout November on the new one-call software. To sign up for a webinar click here.

    The new one-call software remains on-track to be completed by November 30 — the original cutover date.

    Visit BeforeYouDigPartners.com for more information.


  • 13 Sep 2018 1:53 PM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The Alberta Common Ground Alliance would like to welcome the newest members of our Board of Directors: Gary Mason, with LineStar Utility Supply, and Jeff Mulligan, with Astec Safety!

    • Gary Mason is the new Stakeholder Group Director for Equipment / Material/Services Supply for 2018–2020.
    • Jeff Mulligan is the new Stakeholder Group Director for Training Organizations for 2018–2020.

    Other Stakeholder Group Director positions up for election were: Electrical Transmission, Locators, Municipal / Public Works, and Road Builders / Heavy Construction.

    • Dean Battershill, with Enmax, has been re-elected as director of Electrical Transmission.
    • Randy Palaniukwith thCanadian Association of Pipeline and Utility Locating Contractors, has been re-elected as director of Locators.
    • Ian Ross, with the City of Calgary, has been re-elected as director of Municipal / Public Works.
    • Matt Cooper, with Standard General, has been re-elected as director of Road Builders / Heavy Construction.
  • 13 Sep 2018 1:15 PM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The Alberta Common Ground Alliance (ABCGA) is proud to announce that we have awarded Bruce Partington with the Bob Chisholm Award! The award was presented during the 2018 Annual General Meeting on September 12.

    The Bob Chisholm Award recognizes individuals for their extraordinary efforts in promoting and encouraging safe ground disturbance practices.

    Bruce Partington is a longstanding member of Alberta’s damage prevention community. He spent 45 years involved with the Rural Gas Program, developing strategies and programs that reduce the damages to Alberta's infrastructure. He joined the Rural Utilities Division of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in 1984, having worked for 11 years with an engineering firm building rural gas distribution systems. Upon his retirement from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in 2013 he began a new career as a consultant for the Federation of Alberta Gas Co-ops.

    Alongside his work with Rural Utilities, Bruce was a member of EAPUOC for more than 15 years, managing the mascot program and other community awareness programs since 1992. He helped increase awareness of Alberta One Call, and educated younger generations about the importance of calling before you dig. He has also chaired a number of CSA technical subcommittees under the Canadian Oil and Gas Pipeline and Polyethylene Gas Pipe Manufacturing Standards.

    Bruce is also a founding member of the ABCGA. He was chair of the Alberta Damage Prevention Council when it transitioned into the ABCGA in 2011 and he served on the executive until 2016. Our Education and Marketing committee has benefited from Bruce’s involvement for years, and his support for the annual Safety Conference has been instrumental, bringing in participants and securing sponsorship that has made the conference affordable for contractors.

    Bruce's attitude while supporting ABCGA activities has fostered a co-operative relationship between the digging community, infrastructure owners, educators and the public.

    From all of us at the ABCGA: Thank you Bruce!

  • 05 Sep 2018 2:13 PM | Sean Sullivan (Administrator)

    The Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) Damage Prevention Symposium has received Gold Seal Accreditation from the Canadian Construction Association's National Gold Seal Committee.

    Those attending the 2018 Damage Prevention Symposium in Whistler, BC on Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 can now earn a Gold Seal Credit while attending the symposium's sessions.

    The Gold Seal Certification Program is a national construction standard of certification for management professionals in the heavy civil and construction industry.

    To register for the 2018 CCGA Symposium: click here.

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