Page 6 - Arkansas 811 Magazine 2020 Issue 4
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Damage Prevention Summit in Arkansas
COVID – 19 has not been the friend
of events like the Arkansas Damage Prevention Summit this year. The
2020 event in Arkansas was originally scheduled in Northwest Arkansas for mid-April. The immediate impact of the virus caused events such as this to be cancelled or rescheduled. After talking with some of the sponsors and exhibitors of the Summit, it was determined to reschedule the event later in the fall. Of course, the thinking was that the virus would be a footnote in history by that time and life and work would be back to the normal we knew.
The October version of Arkansas’s Damage Prevention Summit was likely much more like the April version would have been because cases in the northwest part of the state were again on the rise. Those concerns caused significant withdrawals from attendees and a few exhibitors who were banned from travel by their companies at the last minute.
However, the folks who were in attendance tell us that they learned much and benefited from the sessions and workshops in which they participated. The event began with David Appelbaum from
the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) discussing what a state can do to maintain its “Adequacy” determination from PHMSA. According to Mr. Appelbaum, there are seven (7) basic questions used to determine “adequacy.”
1. Does the State have an excavation damage prevention law? (Pass/Fail)
2. Is there someone designated to enforce? (Pass/ Fail)
3. (a) Is the State assessing civil penalties and other appropriate sanctions for violations (b) at levels sufficient to deter noncompliance? (Pass/ Fail)
4. Is there a reliable mechanism to learn about violations? (Scored)
5. Can the State sufficiently investigate excavation damages, and apply enforcement equitably? (Scored)
6. Does the law prescribe minimum damage prevention requirements (use of 811, safe excavation practices, notification of damages to operator, and 911 if release) (Scored)
4 • Arkansas 811 Magazine
2020, Issue 4

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