The Underground Plant Protection Account (UPPA) fund was created by Indiana Code § 8-1-26-24 with the express purpose of funding positive outreach to minimize underground facility damages. Per Indiana Code § 8-1-26-24, money in the UPPA fund may only be allocated to improve the safety of Indiana’s underground plant resources through:
- Public awareness programs concerning underground plant protection
- Training and educational programs for contractors, excavators, locators, operators, and other persons involved in underground plant protection
- Incentive programs for contractors, excavators, locators, operators, and other persons involved in underground plant protection to reduce the number of violations of the Indiana 811 law
In 2017, the Commission launched a free, online training system for professionals who work in excavation, including, but not limited to, landscapers, plumbers, concrete workers, and heavy construction workers. The free training courses are open to any individual wanting to learn more about how the Indiana 811 law and 811 system affects them. Learn more at SafeDigIndiana.com.
The IURC is always focused on tracking the effectiveness of the UPPA fund and has developed two, interactive data maps
- To view an interactive map of Indiana buried pipeline damages that have completed the IURC's review process, click here
- Indiana Broadcasters Association (IBA) Public Education Program (PEP) marketing map showing IURC funded Indiana 811 ads
- About the UPPA Fund
The UPPA fund is an accumulation of civil penalties (fines) that were levied and collected due to violations of the Indiana 811 law. These civil penalties can be assessed to both excavators and gas line operators.
All uses of the UPPA funds strictly follow state of Indiana procurement guidelines. UPPA funds are overseen by a committee of Commission representatives, which includes: Commission Chair, Commissioner, Chief Administrative Law Judge, Executive Director of External Affairs, Executive Director of Technical Operations, General Counsel, Director of Pipeline Safety, and the UPPA Fund Project Manager.
- Financial Information
The current account balance of the fund as of Aug. 08, 2022 is $1.65M
- Apply for a UPPA Grant
Underground Plant Protection Account Grant Request
The UPPA grant is available to anyone looking to improve the safety of Indiana’s communities by protecting underground facilities through public awareness, training and education, or incentive programs.
More information about the grant process, including the application to apply for the grant, can be found here.
To view all approved and funded grants and contracts, click here. This page also includes an interactive map to see where UPPA funds have been spent.
Safe Dig Indiana | Local Grant Request
The Safe Dig Indiana | Local Grant provides an opportunity for local governments to send qualified employees to training and education programs designed to enhance safe practices around underground facilities at reduced cost or free of charge. Eligible grantees include, but are not limited to, employees of local government entities, such as cities, towns, and counties, including representatives from municipally owned utilities.
All grants will be distributed to the government entity, not to individuals. Your local government agency will be responsible for disbursing funds to individuals involved in trainings.
More information about this grant opportunity, including the application to apply for the grant, can be found here.
If you have a general suggestion on how/where these funds can be used, but aren’t ready to submit a formal grant request, visit the page here.
- Grant Audit Requirements
The Indiana State Board of Accounts (SBOA) has a statutory responsibly to examine the records and accounts of entities receiving financial assistance from government sources, including funds from UPPA grants. To do this, the SBOA requires non-governmental grantees to submit a simple E-1 form documenting the amount of grant funds received and disbursed.
The form and registration are simple to complete. SBOA provides a two-minute video tutorial to walk grantees through the process. See https://youtu.be/nPpgtPcdUcs. SBOA also has a brief slide presentation that provides information about how to file. See https://www.in.gov/sboa/files/Entity_Annual_Report_(E1)_fast_guide.pdf.
Note, governmental entities such as local governments do not have to file an E-1, as they file an annual financial report.
- Additional Information
To learn more about the regulation of gas utilities, click on the Pipeline Safety Division’s main webpage here.
Information about mandatory training, as well as voluntary training opportunities, can be found here. The Commission offers free online training to prevent damages to underground facilities. Those trainings are available at safedigindiana.com.
To learn more about damages to underground facilities, including reporting information, locate tickets, the Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee, and other information, click here. Frequently asked questions about damages to underground facilities can be found here.