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Yankee Gas Services Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
(800) 989-0900

www.yankeegas.com
News Release
  
YANKEE GAS REMINDS EXCAVATORS TO ‘CALL BEFORE YOU DIG’ TO AVOID PENALTIES  
MEDIA CONTACT:Jeff Tilghman
Office:(860) 665-3931
 
Third-party damage leading cause of serious safety incidents in natural gas industry

BERLIN, Conn., July 18, 2005—What is a leading cause of serious safety incidents in the natural gas industry? Third-party damage is, according to a recent study by the American Gas Foundation (AGF). That’s why, with the summer construction season in full swing, Yankee Gas Services Company reminds excavators to “call before you dig” to prevent rupturing or damaging utilities, such as natural gas mains.

Call Before You Dig, Inc., (CBYD) is Connecticut’s free, one-call system to prevent damage to underground utilities. An excavator need call only one statewide toll-free number, 1-800-922-4455, to notify the CBYD clearinghouse. At no charge to the contractor, CBYD then notifies the owners and operators of underground utilities of proposed excavation work. Once approved for excavation by CBYD, contractors must follow strict guidelines for digging around and near underground utilities. For example, excavators must dig by hand around natural gas mains and services, and excavation notices from CBYD must be renewed every 30 days. For more information on specific guidelines, call the CBYD clearinghouse toll-free, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 1-800-922-4455, or visit at www.cbyd.com.

CBYD is the law. In addition, the Connecticut Department of Utility Control may impose civil penalties upon those violating CBYD requirements. Likewise, Yankee Gas will hold excavators accountable for all costs associated with the repair of damaged facilities and any loss of natural gas.

“Connecticut’s ‘Call Before You Dig’ program helps us maintain a safe, reliable distribution system—our top priority,” said Chris Beschler, vice president of Operations. “Not only is ‘Call Before You Dig’ the law, it is the only smart, safe thing to do.”

Construction activity in Connecticut has been increasing steadily since 2001. At Yankee Gas, the number of requests to mark out facilities has increased more than 31 percent since 2001. In 2004, the company received more than 58,000 CBYD notices along its 3,085 miles of mains and approximately 136,000 services. That was an increase of 7,000 requests, compared to 2003. According to data filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation, which regulates the natural gas industry, the majority of leaks to gas services on the Yankee Gas distribution system in 2004 were caused by third-party damage. Preventing third-party damage is also a measure of service quality and Yankee Gas has met or exceeded its goal of preventing third-party damage since the DPUC-mandated Service Quality Plan began in 2001.

For more information about the AGF study, visit www.gasfoundation.org.

Yankee Gas Services Company (Yankee Gas) is Connecticut’s largest natural gas distribution company, delivering safe, reliable natural gas service to approximately 194,000 customers in 71 cities and towns. Yankee Gas is expanding Connecticut’s energy options and increasing customer choice by extending the availability of clean, efficient natural gas throughout the state. Yankee Gas is part of the Northeast Utilities System (NYSE: NU). For more information, please visit www.yankeegas.com.
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