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
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