Page 7 - Mississippi 811 Magazine 2021 Issue 2
P. 7

Board to get some additional details regarding the alleged violation. Then, it is reviewed, investigated and submitted to the Executive Committee appointed by the Enforcement Board. After determining whether a violation occurred and the penalty for the violation (if appropriate), a citation will be mailed, and then the violator and claimant will be notified as to the outcome.
Some have asked, “When should I submit an AVR or when should I report someone who is violating the dig law?” To this question there is no right or wrong answer. From the earliest days of working to include enforcement (education and/or civil penalties) the idea of enforcement was promoted as a last resort. The hope was that stakeholders would continue to try to resolve issues in the field as
they had done in the past and if resolution were not possible, enforcement was an additional step to be used to encourage behavioral change.
Others have asked, “What if I’m not sure it’s a violation, then what do I do?” If you aren’t sure, you can always call the Mississippi 811 coordinator in your area for guidance, or you can submit the AVR. If it is not a violation that can be enforced, you will be notified.
Penalties range from training to civil penalties based on the number and severity of violations. Repeat violations are based on a rolling five-year period. The Enforcement Board recognized there would be a learning curve in jump starting the enforcement process.
The Executive Committee typically meets monthly and reviews the previous months violations. For example, at the March meeting, the committee reviewed twenty (20) AVRs along with submitted documentation and comments. Ten (10) AVRs were deemed violations. One of those was
a third violation. Five (5) of the AVRs were withdrawn, three (3) were determined not to be a violation and two (2) were determined to be no violations based on insufficient evidence or documentation.
I’ve had requests to give an example of “enforceable violations.” Here are some examples based on actual AVRs submitted.
It was not an enforceable violation for a company to continue to call in tickets on a project when the work appears to be completed. While it may not be considerate to continue to call in these tickets, it has not been determined in every case to be a violation.
It is not an enforceable violation for an excavator to fail to meet with you even if you request it on the Mississippi 811 ticket. It certainly can create problems, it can also increase the excavator’s liability should a damage occur, but it
does not currently meet the definition of an enforceable violation.
It is not an enforceable violation to have the wrong phone number or the wrong person’s name on the 811 ticket. It continues to be a major source of frustration for many; however, it does not currently meet the definition of an enforceable violation.
For more information about the AVR or the process, you may contact Roger Cox, Executive Secretary at
Don’t make a dig mistake
As an excavator, you have projects to complete and deadlines to meet. But when it comes to working around buried utilities, there’s always time to dig safe. One wrong move can lead to a cut utility line and that means costly project delays, fines and the potential for serious injuries.
At CenterPoint Energy, we’re committed to being your safe digging partner. That’s why we offer no-cost excavation safety training. Our training covers state and federal regulations, identification of underground facilities and excavation safety best practices, all so you can finish your work safely and on time.
To schedule your training session, email

   5   6   7   8   9