Mandatory line locate program will make Ontario safer, save taxpayer
TORONTO, June 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Union Gas - Canada's second-largest
natural gas utility - hailed today's passage of Bill 8, the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, declaring the decision will lead to a safer Ontario.
"By passing this one simple piece of legislation, Ontario has taken a
huge leap forward to improve the safety of every single resident, cut
costs for every single taxpayer and increase the productivity of the
province as a whole," said Mike Shannon, Union Gas vice-president of
"We congratulate all three parties in the provincial legislature for
coming together to pass this important legislation, which will
significantly improve worker safety and protect the lives of all
Ontarians," said Steve Baker, president of Union Gas. "We look forward
to working with the government to help develop regulations that will
ensure a smooth transition for all stakeholders."
Ontarians are at serious risk when utility lines such as buried
pipelines or hydro lines are struck or damaged because homeowners,
building contractors and other excavators do not obtain the lines'
precise locations before digging. In 2011 alone, natural gas lines were
hit and damaged almost 2,700 times in Ontario.
Currently, an excavator may need to call up to 13 different numbers to
locate all utility lines near a dig site. The Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, which was passed in the legislature this morning, will require all
underground utility owners in the province to join a non-profit,
100-per-cent industry-funded "One Call" call centre that will act as
the single point of contact for all underground utility location
services in Ontario.
In addition to the potential risk of a public emergency as well as the
inconvenience of utility outages, economic analysts estimate that
damages caused by excavators who don't call before they dig cost
utility customers, municipalities and, ultimately, Ontario taxpayers,
tens of millions of dollars every year.
There are also significant indirect costs related to dispatching
emergency services, liability related to injuries and/or fatalities,
business interruption and productivity losses. In the United States,
all 50 states have mandated One Call centres and have seen damages
reduced by as much as 70 per cent.
Sarnia-Lambton Conservative MPP Bob Bailey re-introduced Bill 8, a
Private Member's Bill, to the legislature last year. It was
co-sponsored by Paul Miller, the NDP MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney
Creek, and received the support of all three parties during today's
As a founding member of Ontario One Call and the Ontario Regional Common
Ground Alliance, Union Gas has long advocated for a single mandatory
locate system for the province and was among a broad coalition of
presenters who appeared before a legislative committee this April in
support of the proposed legislation.
About Union Gas
Union Gas Limited is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission
and distribution company based in Ontario with 100 years of experience
and service to customers. The distribution business serves about 1.4
million residential, commercial and industrial customers in more than
400 communities across northern, southwestern and eastern Ontario.
Union Gas' growing storage and transmission business offers a variety
of storage and transportation services to customers at the Dawn Hub,
the largest underground storage facility in Canada and one of the
largest in North America. The Dawn Hub offers customers an important
link in the movement of natural gas from Western Canadian and U.S.
supply basins to markets in central Canada and the northeast U.S. Union
Gas, named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers and one of Canada's
Greenest Employers, for 2012, is a Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company
with assets of $5.8 billion and approximately 2,200 employees. For more
information, visit uniongas.com.
SOURCE Union Gas Limited
For further information:
Manager, External Communications and Media Relations
Ph: 519 436-5490 or 1-800-571-8446 ext. 5490
Cell: 519 365-1010
Fax: 519 436-4621