Study after study conclude that the “one call” or “call before you dig” system provides one of the best practices to monitor institutional and engineering controls or to otherwise protect contaminated sites from inappropriate or unsafe excavations. By preventing excavations at contaminated sites, these systems can also inform excavators from potentially harmful environmental exposure.
The “One-call” utility protection system operates nationwide in a process like this: Those who own or operate underground hazards register their areas of concern with the one-call centers. Excavators must, under various state one-call laws, dial 811 to reach the one-call centers before they dig. The centers, in turn, notify all the registered underground hazard owners/operators in the nearby area. Finally, these owners/operators communicate to the excavator as to whether and where the underground hazards lie, so the excavators can avoid them.
Increasingly, with the help of the Terradex Dig Clean service, state agencies leverage the one-call process for use at contaminated sites.
Already in operation within a growing number of states, Terradex’s Dig Clean makes it possible for “one-call” services to be applied to contaminated site inventories. Dig Clean mediates the interaction between the excavator, the one-call center, and the state agencies who wish to protect site contamination (and excavators) from inappropriate excavations.
The continuously-operating Terradex Dig Clean service is shown above.The process begins with an excavator calling the one-call system which, in turn, electronically transmits the excavation notice to Terradex Dig Clean. Terradex receives hundreds a day. Dig Clean automatically screens excavation tickets in real-time, alerts state environmental agencies of potential conflicts with contamination, and assembles an advisory notice that can be automatically sent to the excavator. Given that an excavator might use a fax, cell phone or web, the notices arrive either by voice, text, or fax. The excavator reviews a form via the web or fax mapping their excavation extent in relation to the locations of cleanup sites.
The state agency can pick their role. Terradex Dig Clean can automatically send advisories for any excavation that it detects as an “alert,” meaning the excavation seems in conflict with a cleanup site. Agencies can simply monitor the Terradex process, allowing it to send advisory notices for alerts, paying closer attention only when more than an advisory notice seems necessary. Or, agencies can directly control whether and which advisories become issued by reviewing every “alert” and, through the Terradex web interface, manually invoking the advisory process as appropriate.