Governor Jim Justice has declared April 2022 as “Safe Digging Month.” To highlight the importance of this issue, the GO-WV Environmental and Safety Committee is hosting a free Damage Prevention Seminar from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Days Inn Conference Center in Flatwoods on Wednesday, April, 6, 2022. The agenda is packed with presenters that have excellent information to offer to any Utility Operator, contractor or Producer/Operator who needs to understand the current rules concerning damage prevention. This free educational opportunity is open to all operators of public service districts, municipal water and sewer utilities, gas operators and producers, contractors involved in ground disturbance activities as well as others interested in learning more about the requirements and efforts in place regarding Damage Prevention of any asset or utility service. Continuing Education hours will be available for course attendance and participation where applicable.
The Public Service Commission’s Director of Gas Pipeline Safety, Mary Friend, will kick off the day. Her opening session is about PSC compliance requirements and a regulation overview. That will be followed by information from Tom Taylor, Executive Director of WV811 and Carrie Clendening, Executive Director of the West Virginia Damage Prevention Board. Mr. Taylor will talk about the role and responsibilities of everyone involved in ground disturbance activities. Ms. Clendening will explain the Damage Control Board’s compliance requirements and what is expected of operators and excavators. She will also update attendees on the board’s recent investigation findings.
After lunch, there will be a panel discussion about best practices and initiatives. The panel members are Todd Grinstead from the West Virginia Rural Water Association, Stephen Thompson of Dominion Energy, Ray T. Dean of TC Energy and Tristan Jenkins of Antero Resources. This will offer an opportunity for discussion and sharing ideas with some top damage prevention experts from the perspective of various utilities as well as from the transportation aspect as well.
The day will conclude with a session featuring Jerry Poage with USIC (U.S. Infrastructure Company), Chris Veazey with Enervest and Dr. William Minear the EMD Chief of the WVDHA. Mr. Poage will discuss damage prevention methods and techniques, including statewide statistics; the pros and cons of different vacuum excavating services; and different line locating tools and resources. Mr. Veazey will discuss transportation challenges and best practices with regard to damage prevention. And Dr. Minear will discuss emergency response protocol and lessons learned.
Register below or call GO-WV at 304-344-9867.