Page 6 - Mississippi 811 Magazine 2021 Issue 2
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?Enforcement for violating
accomplished. It is always the highest and best goal to resolve issues between the parties involved. However, if in fact you are unable to resolve the
issue and it continues to reoccur, how much longer will it take for you to try something different? The AVR is a vehicle that says, “I’ve tried to resolve this myself, but failing to get any consistent cooperation, are you able to help resolve this reoccurring issue?”
2. I don’t want to get anybody into trouble. Of the 300 to 400 citations including both training and civil penalties that have been mailed as the result of violations, I don’t remember
a single person who thought they
were in trouble. Some have thought, “I need to be more careful.” Some have thought, “I need to contact the person who submitted the ticket.” Enforcement of the dig law only works when you
let the board know that you think a violation has occurred in your area. It is not about getting someone in trouble. It’s about holding ourselves and one another accountable to each other.
You didn’t call in a ticket because you were bored. There was a reason. It means you need to know where the underground facilities are so you can dig safely. If all stakeholders aren’t responding properly, the whole project stops or damages occur. You don’t want that and it’s an unreasonable burden placed on you. Let the enforcement process work for you by submitting
the AVR. In doing so, you’ve helped yourself, your company and the damage prevention efforts across the state.
I still get calls asking how the process works. Here it is again with a slightly new twist just started this year. When the AVR is submitted, the person who submits it will receive a phone call from the Executive Secretary of the
Questions and frustrations across the state, the
By Roger Cox Executive Secretary for the Enforcement Board
enforcement board has received only about 1,000 notices of violations. (AVRs) So the question is why there continues to be a reluctance to submit alleged violation.
It isn’t that the form is hard to find.
The online form is readily accessible on several websites including, Mississippi Rural Water, the Mississippi Public Service Commission and the Mississippi 811. Of course, it can be accessed on
the Mississippi Enforcement Board’s website at www.msdamageprevention. com.
It isn’t that the form is hard to complete and it only takes a few minutes to submit. If you are unsure as to how
to complete the form, reach out to
the Mississippi 811 damage prevention coordinators. They will walk you through it, set up a meeting with you or your group to show you exactly how best to utilize this new tool to help resolve your local issues.
What we’ve learned through hundreds of phone calls and face-to-face meetings, while there are several reasons folks don’t use the AVR as a resource, there are two reasons that stand above the rest.
1. Political... I want to try to handle
it myself. If I can work it out without getting anybody else involved, then I can build a relationship that will result in better projects in the future. If this is your reasoning and it’s working, then you’ve done exactly what the enforcement board hopes will be
4 • Mississippi 811 2021, Issue 2
Mississippi’s dig law went into effect January 1, 2017. Since that time, in spite of
the number of violations, damages

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