Quebec must legislate to protect its underground infrastructures
Daily damages are costly but avoidable, according to the APISQ
MONTREAL, Sept. 13, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec government needs to legislate in order to improve protection of its underground infrastructures, as was done in Ontario and in over 50 American States. "In 2011, more than 5 damages per day were done to natural gas or electrical ducts, creating the disruption of essential services which translated into millions of dollars of direct and indirect costs. Now is the time for the Quebec government to legislate", argues Nathalie Moreau, Director General for the Alliance pour la protection des infrastructures souterraines du Québec (APISQ).
The APISQ welcomes the adoption by the Ontario legislation of Bill 8 on June 19, which implements a mandatory information system for underground infrastructures. From now on, every owner of Ontario's underground infrastructures, including municipalities, must provide the location of their buried infrastructures to a One Call Centre. In order to locate underground infrastructures, all excavation companies must also contact the One Call Centre before beginning excavation work. Using a One Call Centre, a non-profit organization opened 24/7, will not only reduce delays for construction companies, but will improve public and worker safety by giving precise and updated information on the location of underground infrastructures. This is a first in Canada.
Data collected by the APISQ in 2011 shows that almost 1 300 damages were done to Quebec's underground infrastructures. Damages such as smashed gas or water ducts, severed electrical wires, service interruptions (Internet, 911, etc.) and traffic jams are costly, but could be avoided. "In most cases, the person in charge of the excavation did not make a locate request to Info-Excavation, a free service offered in Quebec for over 20 years", states Nathalie Moreau. "In the past few years, Ontario has had many deaths and injuries related to excavation work. Fortunately, Quebec has been lucky in this regard as no serious injury has occurred, but we must act now before it is too late", she added.
Excavation: a steep increase
As mentioned by the APISQ, there will be a steep increase in excavation sites throughout Quebec as municipalities, public work companies and the ministère des Transports du Québec have thousands of work sites underway on Quebec's roads, bridges, streets, waterworks and sewage systems.
As an example, the newspaper La Presse has reported that 621 excavation sites will be launched by the city of Montreal alone. Damages to underground infrastructures will certainly increase if the Quebec government does not update its legislation and by-laws, as was the case in Ontario. To overcome the legislative delays regarding this area of strategic importance, the APISQ plans to continue its representation towards government authorities.
About APISQ and Info-Excavation
The Alliance pour la protection des infrastructures souterraines du Québec (APISQ) is a non-profit organization dedicated in promoting effective damage prevention practices, thus reducing damages to underground infrastructure and ensuring public and worker safety as well as the integrity of services. Owners of underground infrastructures, municipalities and excavation companies are some of the examples of the Alliance's 70 members. www.apisq-qcga.ca
Info-Excavation, a non-profit organization, offers a one-stop service for excavation contractors and the public before they start digging. It informs them on the location and nature of underground infrastructures owned by its members. The mutual goal of Info-Excavation's members is to ensure public and worker safety, to protect the environment and to maintain the integrity of services to the community.
SOURCE: Alliance pour la protection des infrastructures souterraines du Québec (APISQ)For further information:
For more information: Nathalie Moreau, Director General
Telephone: (514) 339-2747