Dig Clean Excavation Advisory Begins in Delaware

As another step towards increased environmental agency integration into one-call systems, on December 17, 2012 Terradex expanded its Dig Clean service on behalf of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (DNREC).   Terradex Dig Clean builds near real-time advisories that it sends to contractors and designers after they submit “locate requests” but  before they actually begin any excavation work.   The DNREC deployment of Dig Clean began as a pilot covering the City of Newark, Delaware.

Excavation advisories around contaminated site boundaries (purple) across the City of Newark, Delaware (yellow)

Dig Clean outputs a one-page environmental advisory,  transmitted to the contractor or designer.  A sample advisory shows at this link. The Dig Clean service helps contractors and designers (1) to avoid damaging engineering controls (ECs), (2) to understand activity limits posed by institutional controls (ICs), and (3) it sends them information pertaining to chemicals of concerns at contaminated sites. The advisory maps the location of the excavation relative to the boundaries of the contaminated site or associated ICs or ECs.

This Dig Clean deployment in Delaware introduces new advisory capabilities.    The advisory embeds hyperlinks to chemical-specific worker protection information advisories generated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).  For example, when petroleum hydrocarbons are present a link at NIOSH is provided, and a link at ATSDR is provided.  With this information, an excavator can arrive knowing not only the extent of an IC or EC, but also  equip themselves with appropriate health protection.  The advisory also contains a hyperlink to a generic Contaminated Materials Management Plan that is focused on utility work near contaminated sites.

An additional capability is the ability to integrate locate responses into the National Ticket Management System used as a locate request clearance system by excavators in numerous states.  Dig Clean generates a positive response, either a code 1 for “no conflict” – a status indicating that a known contaminated sites was not near the planned excavation, or a code 11 indicating that an environmental advisory is prepared for use by the designer or excavator.

The start of Delaware Dig Clean culminates a cooperative discussion between Miss Utility of Delmarva, DNREC and Terradex.  While DNREC held statutory authority to participate in the one call system, they collaborated with the board of Miss Utility of Delmarva to arrive a plan to pilot the program.

Terradex holds a vision of an integrated national environmental advisory service operating in collaboration with the various excavation clearance systems nationally.  Environmental remedies are most vulnerable to risk of excavation, and Dig Clean represents an evolutionary approach that screens thousands of excavation tickets.  The cooperation enjoyed from the Miss Utility of Delmarva as well as other states where Dig Clean has been deployed is shaping and streamlining the service.

 

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