WHEREAS, April marks the start of the spring construction, gardening, and digging season for homeowners, landscapers, and construction companies; and
WHEREAS, each year, due to failure to follow safe digging practices, Alaska’s underground utility infrastructure is accidentally damaged. Utility lines in Alaska are damaged at a rate that is three times greater than the national average; and
WHEREAS, the consequences of damage to buried facilities can include the interruption of electric, gas, communications; and water and sewer utility services; costly damage repairs, fines, and penalties; and serious injuries and fatalities; and
WHEREAS, the Federal Communications Commission designated 811 as the national Call-Before-You-Dig number that helps prevent excavation accidents, providing one simple number to reach your local One Call Center; and
WHEREAS, Alaskans can save time, money, and help keep our state safe and connected by following best practices for damage prevention, starting with a simple call to 811; and
WHEREAS, safe digging is a shared responsibility. To prevent damage to underground utility infrastructure and ensure public safety, we must become aware of, and follow, safe digging practices and remember to always call 811 before digging.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael J. Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim April, 2019 as:
Safe Digging Month
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to follow and spread awareness about safe digging practices and to always call 811 before digging.