Market Overview

Washington Gas Promotes Success of 'Call Before You Dig' Program on National 811 Day


Company Urges Everyone to Practice Safety by Always Calling 811
Before Digging

To commemorate National 811 Day in the nation's capital, Washington Gas
is showcasing major progress made across all three of its service
territories in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia to significantly
reduce damage to natural gas lines caused by unsafe digging. In the
United States, every nine minutes an underground utility line is damaged
because of digging by individuals who do not call 811 beforehand.

One of the leading causes of gas leak emergencies in the country are
damages to underground gas lines by individuals and contractors
performing excavation work such as digging, boring and directional
drilling. National 811 Day provides an excellent opportunity to
highlight how everyone can participate in reducing damages by calling
811 before doing any type of excavation work. The Call Before You Dig
811 program, which is a free service, provides clear guidance and
instruction to reduce damage to all types of underground utilities,
including gas lines.

Through Washington Gas' widely deployed awareness campaigns, educational
initiatives, training sessions and close collaboration with energy
industry groups and state regulatory commissions, the message to
encourage calling 811 before beginning a project that involves digging
or excavating so that underground utility lines can be marked ahead of
time continues to gain traction among customers, contractors,
construction crews and homeowners. The decrease in incidences of utility
lines being struck demonstrates how 811 can protect the community,
prevent injury, avoid interrupted service and put safety first.

Washington Gas' damage prevention program has dramatically reduced
damages since its inception in 1989 when damages averaged more than 8
strikes per 1,000 requests for assistance identifying underground
utilities. Today, that number is about 1 strike per 1,000 requests.

"We are pleased to have achieved a great deal of success in reducing
damage to our gas distribution system. Keeping our customers safe and
providing reliable service are our highest priorities and preventing
damage is a key way we do that," said Adrian Chapman, President and
Chief Executive Officer of Washington Gas, a WGL company serving more
than 1.1 million customers. "We are proud to celebrate the improvements
across our service territory and applaud the partnerships that led to
the success of many public education programs promoting the importance
of the Call Before You Dig principles."

Chapman added, "We need to maintain our vigilance to ensure all
underground utilities, including natural gas lines, are marked properly
and that those marks are respected to prevent damage. We can only do
that when the public helps us spread the word about calling 811 each and
every time they dig."

As a result of investment in damage prevention programs, including
implementing robust 811 advocacy, enhanced outreach and ongoing
education throughout its service territories, Maryland, Washington, D.C.
and Virginia are recognized leaders in the industry for decreasing
utility line damage incidences caused by unsafe digging practices. In
addition, Washington Gas has developed an Enhanced Positive Response
(EPR) that not only locates and marks underground utilities but also
provides customer-detailed information, including photographs and
mapping, about the location and mark each time a call comes in. This EPR
process, combined with Washington Gas' computer-generated algorithm, and
a risk ranking of each locate and mark request, has helped Washington
Gas maintain a leadership role in damage prevention. These programs are
considered industry best practices and are established in all the
Company's jurisdictions.

Highlights of Washington Gas initiatives include:

  • For the second consecutive year, Washington Gas has partnered with the
    Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and
    joined with the Miss Utility Group for its annual National Call 811
    Day at Nationals Park stadium to hand out literature and interact with
    fans about the positive impact of calling 811 to avoid disruptive
    damage to utility lines.
  • Washington Gas participates in a series of bus caravan (or,
    "Care-A-Van") stops with volunteers that visit communities, fairs,
    school events, festivals and other gatherings with a colorfully
    branded Call Before You Dig 811 van that brings the message of safe
    digging from town to town to educate neighbors and families.
  • This year, Washington Gas is continuing a partnership with NBC4 TV
    news, to co-produce a public service announcement (PSA) message that
    urges the community to Call Before You Dig and reminds viewers and
    listeners about the importance of dialing 811 before starting any
    project that involves digging.

Regulatory commissions in Washington Gas' service territory
partner in support of 811

"By taking this simple and necessary step of calling 811 in advance of
any digging project, neighborhoods remain safe and connected," stated
Betty Ann Kane, Chairman of the Public Service Commission of the
District of Columbia. "Each year in the District, we dedicate time and
resources in educating residents about safe digging practices in order
to prevent service interruptions, damage to the environment and personal

"We encourage everyone to use the 811 service before breaking ground for
any digging project. This program has been an effective way to ensure
proper procedures are followed and avoid costly damages," said Jason
Stanek, Chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission. "The
Commission is a strong advocate of measures that protect our energy
infrastructure, making sure utility service is safe and reliable for our
residents, businesses and local communities."

Reminders for contractors and homeowners who call 811 before they dig:

  • Anyone digging should call 811 at least two full working days
    (excluding weekends and holidays) before they are scheduled to begin
    any type of digging to report where they are planning to dig and what
    type of work they will be doing.
  • Utility companies that may have facilities in the area of the dig site
    will be notified about the potential excavation. Each affected utility
    company will send a locator to mark the approximate location of the
    nearby underground utility lines.

For more information, please refer to Washington Gas' Natural Gas e-book
that includes Resources, Safety Tips and Emergency Information, with a
section dedicated to 811:

About WGL and Washington Gas

The WGL family of companies—Washington Gas, WGL Energy, WGL Midstream
and Hampshire Gas—are now indirect, wholly-owned subsidiaries of AltaGas
Ltd (TSX:ALA). WGL is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is a
leading source for clean, efficient and diverse energy solutions. With
activities and assets across the U.S., WGL provides options for natural
gas, electricity, green power and energy services, including generation,
storage, transportation, distribution, supply and efficiency. Our
calling as a company is to make energy surprisingly easy for our
employees, our community and all our customers. Whether you are a
homeowner or renter, small business or multinational corporation, state
and local or federal agency, WGL is here to provide Energy Answers. Ask
Us. For more information, visit us at
and @wglanswers.

WGL's regulated natural gas utility, Washington Gas, provides safe,
reliable natural gas service to more than 1.1 million customers in the
District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. The company has been
providing energy to residential, commercial and industrial customers for
170 years. Visit us at
and follow us on Twitter @washingtongas.

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