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Call Before You Dig Law

Building a deck? Planting a tree? Installing a mailbox? Then 811 is the  number you should call. Every digging job requires a call – even small projects like planting trees or shrubs. If you hit an underground utility line while digging, you can harm yourself or those around you, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood and potentially be responsible for fines and repair costs.

Indiana’s “Call Before You Dig” law, Ind. Code ch. 8-1-26, requires everyone who digs to contact Indiana 811 at least two full working days before starting their project. In 2003, the Indiana General Assembly revised the “Call Before You Dig” law and made it a requirement that all owners and operators of underground facilities become a member of Indiana 811. This law was then amended in 2009 to add penalties for certain infractions.

Pursuant to the statute, civil penalties may include:

  1. A warning letter for homeowners/tenants who are first-time offenders regarding a violation in which no one was personally injured;
  2. A civil penalty up to a maximum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00);
  3. Required participation of employees in a mandatory education and training program sponsored by the Commission; and/or
  4. Required development of a plan to avoid future violations, which must receive approval.

Upon learning of a potential violation, the Pipeline Safety Division conducts an investigation and then forwards its findings to the Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee for a recommendation to the IURC on the appropriate penalty. To learn more about the procedures for resolving violations of the underground plant protection law (170 IAC 5-5), please click here. To contact Advisory Committee staff, please click here.

For more information about safe digging, please visit the Indiana 811 website at the link below.