Below are the highlights of the Q & A, if you are interested in more, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send you the entire list.
Q. Can you define business hours?
A. Business hours are Monday thru Friday 7:00am to 5:00pm.
Q. What determines whether or not the "work has begun" within 14 days? Who makes this determination? Is it based on a contractor’s presence on the site or actual excavation beginning?
A. Excavation determines whether or not the work has begun. The only way MISS DIG 811 would be aware that excavation has not begun within 14 days is if the excavator calls in a retransmit for unmarked facilities. See MDPB Best Practices for Amended 14-day rule. Clarifies Excavation as it relates to 14-day rule is same as Excavation as defined by PA 174. So any action listed as excavation in PA 174 has to be performed within the 14-day window.
Q. Can you please provide additional information on pursuing the required training for contractors interested in becoming authorized to enter ticket requests online? (not just single address tickets).
A. In order to be trained on Remote Ticket Entry, an application must be submitted. Remote Ticket Entry allows you to place almost any type of ticket that a MISS DIG 811 operator can place. To apply for Remote Ticket training, please submit the application from our website: http://www.missdig.org/programs/remote-ticket-entry.html. Online training lasts approximately 2 hours.
Q. Can you please provide an example of how an excavator would benefit from being a member with access to the design side of MISSDIG. Does membership involve financial commitments? Also, what is the focus of Associate membership?
A. Some of the benefits of becoming a Contractor Associate Member include the ability to place a design request. Design tickets help identify underground facilities while in the planning stage. In addition, Associate members can attend our annual meetings, they have an option to run for our Board of Directors, and the company’s web link can be placed on the MISS DIG 811 website. In addition, a Corporate account includes the MISS DIG 811 Certification program that provides creation of reports, free research requests with metrics, and MISS DIG 811 merchandise that can be purchased at a 10% discount.
Yes, there is a fee involved. Associate Membership is available for Contract Locators, Vendors, Designers, and Contractors wishing to participate in the MISS DIG 811 Certification Program. The focus depends on the type of Associate Membership you would be applying for. For more information, please click the link: http://www.missdig.org/members/design-ticket-members.html
To find benefits for Contract Locators, Vendors, and Design Companies to become Associate Members, you can also visit
http://www.missdig.org/cm/dpl/downloads/content/1091/MISS_DIG_Associate_Memberships.pdf for details.
Q. Does a municipality have a responsibility to locate a private sanitary sewer lead?
A. A municipality has the responsibility to locate a lead within the public right-of-way.
As stated in the MDPB Best Practices authored by the MPSC and adopted by the MDPB.
Q. For a design ticket, is an owner required to pothole to accurately locate their facility?
A. No, facility owners are not required to pothole on design tickets. Below is an excerpt from Public Act 174 which is available to review on our website: http://www.missdig.org/education/public-act-174.html
(3) The response to a design ticket is to provide general information regarding the location of underground facilities, not to mark any facilities. However, if a facility owner or operator does not have drawings or records that show the location of a facility, the facility owner or operator shall mark that facility under the procedures described in section 7. A design ticket or information provided in response to a design ticket does not satisfy the requirement under this act for excavation or blasting notice to the notification system or marking the approximate location of facilities for blasting or excavation.
Q. How close may I dig adjacent to a marked underground utility without hand exposing the underground utility prior to excavating?
A. If work is being done outside of the 8 ft. caution zone (4 ft. from either side of the markings), hand digging is not required. If work is being done inside of the 8 ft. caution zone, hand digging is required.
An excavator can request additional assistance if hand digging does not expose the location of marked utility within the approximate location of the marked utility. “Approximate Location” means a strip of land at least 36 inches wide, but not wider than the width of the marked utility plus 18 inches on either side of the utility marks.
Q. How do I get involved with the Michigan Damage Prevention Board?
A. MDPB is in place to review any comments or concerns from Stakeholders. These meetings are open to all Stakeholders, and are held on the 4th Thursday of each month at the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, located at 2937 Atrium Dr. #100, Okemos, MI 48864 at 9AM. Meetings are subject to room availability, please contact Dirk Dunham at email@example.com to be added to the email list to receive updates on this meeting.
Q. How do we know if everyone has responded (to a MISS DIG ticket request)?
A. Check Positive Response at http://response.missdig811.org/ or http://newtina.missdig.org/newtinweb/gen_resp_inquiry.nas or call 1-800-763-3888.
Q. I do not see the time requirement for response to emergency requests, but it seems from your slides that it is now 3 hours. Is that correct?
A. A ‘NOW’ emergency with the crew en route or on-site must be marked within 3 hours. A scheduled emergency (e.g. 8am the next morning) has to be marked by the date & time the emergency was scheduled to begin.
Q. Bruce, what action do you recommend be taken when a contractor/excavator is using dig ticket requests for design purposes?
A. The first step would be to contact MISS DIG 811 with ticket number examples so we can make contact with the excavator and educate them on the difference between a design and a dig request. If the practice continues, you could file a dispute assistance form (DAFFY) which is available on the MISS DIG 811 website: http://www.missdig.org/excavators/daffy.html
Q. If all responses have been made and it has only been two days, can I start digging?
A. No, you must wait the entire 72 hours, court cases bear this out. An excavator shall provide a dig notice to the notification system at least 72 hours of (i.e. 3 business days) before the start of excavation.
Q. (A certain entity) will send in tickets, and before we can stake it, they will do the work before the 3 days.
A. When you post a response to the ticket, use the code 007-Stated Scope of Work Completed
Q. If we have a current shape file, where should we send it to make your job easier?
A. Email the shape file in a zipped file to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Shape file requirements can be found on the MISS DIG 811 website under Member Information, and then clicking on Mapping Support.
Q. If you have submitted a ticket for an address, you know that you won't start digging within 14 days, and you also know that you need to create a new ticket: Should you cancel the original ticket if it is close to expiring?
A. You can only cancel a ticket within 3-working days from the time the ticket was placed. If you haven’t started digging within 14 days, and it’s after 3-working days, just place a new request.
Q. Is it really 21 days to complete an excavation? We have many projects that go far beyond this time frame.
A. Regular locate requests are valid for 21 days. When the digging portion of your job will take over 21 days, you can place a Project ticket (e.g. road construction, water main installation). These tickets are valid for 180 days.
Q. What can be done about municipalities that do not come out and mark their facilities?
A. If municipality is a MISS DIG 811 member, place an “Unmarked Facilities” retransmit as often as necessary. If that proves ineffective, you could file a Dispute Assistance Form (DAFFY) which is available on the MISS DIG 811 website: http://www.missdig.org/excavators/daffy.html. If neither trying to first settle the dispute with the adverse party, then submitting the dispute assistance form doesn’t work, you can then make an official complaint with the Michigan Public Service Commission.
Q. Is there any State or Federal funding available to offset the expense of locating utilities?
A. Offsetting the expense of locating lines could be done by raising rates. If regulated, apply to MPSC for a rate increase to cover the costs associated. If unregulated, follow the proper legal channels to raise rates.
Q. Is there going to be an app developed anytime soon?
A. While MISS DIG 811 has considered and reviewed building an app in the past, at this time, we do not believe an app would be beneficial to our users. Current cell phone technology does not allow for an accurate pin point location of the user. This restricts the user's ability to place a locate request, via app, based on their current location as the coordinates could be inaccurate causing potential danger to life and/or property. Until a time that an accurate pin point location can be made from a cell phone, MISS DIG 811 has decided to not pursue building an app.
However, MISS DIG 811 does offer many smart phone friendly programs and online applications that can be saved to your phones home screen for easy access. These programs and applications include:
* e-Locate, elocate.missdig811.org, for anyone placing single address locate requests
* Positive Response Status, status.missdig811.org, for users to check the current positive response status of an existing locate request
* Web TMS, webtms.missdig811.org, for members to access their MISS DIG 811 Ticket Management accounts
* Positive Response Posting, post.missdig811.org, for members to post the positive response status of their open locate requests
* Ticket Search Lite, tsl.missdig811.org, for members to search their tickets placed during the last 122 days
Q. It would be good to have a standard system for all states since our office, and surely many others, have projects in many states. Is there anyone working toward this?
A. A valid observation, but at this time, since each state is governed by their own laws, the standards set in place will vary. Currently, there is nothing in the works nationally.
Q. Once you submit a design ticket, can it be corrected or replaced with a new one?
A. Design tickets cannot be corrected or cancelled once they have been submitted. If you need to cancel the request or make an adjustment to the information on the ticket, submit a new ticket explaining the cancellation or changes that are needed and reference the previous ticket number in the Scope of Work field.
Q. Do you need a ticket for (concrete) saw cutting?
A. If the concrete saw cutting involves disturbing the ground, a dig ticket must be placed.
Q. What about a utility that sends in an emergency and it is not an emergency?
A. All tickets should indicate why they are an emergency. However, if a contractor is often abusing the system, you could file a Dispute Assistance Form (DAFFY), which is available on the MISS DIG 811 website: http://www.missdig.org/excavators/daffy.html . If the DAFFY form doesn’t alleviate the problem, a complaint can be filed with MPSC.
Q. What are the rules regarding removal of markings? For example, a site is marked one day, an excavator removes the flags and the next contractor (who placed the original MISS DIG), digs the next day and hits an electrical line?
A. Each contractor on the job is required to have their own MISS DIG 811 ticket in their company’s name. If the above scenario occurred, the 2nd contractor would have to place a 2nd request on his ticket for destroyed markings. The member utilities have 24 non-weekend or holiday hours to respond to.
An excerpt from PA 174:
(7) An excavator shall provide notification to the notification system if facility markings are destroyed or covered by excavation or blasting activities or if a ticket expires before the commencement of excavation. If a ticket expires before the commencement of excavation, an excavator shall provide a new dig notice to the notification system, and comply with subsection (1)
The next paragraphs refer to the 1st contractor that perhaps removed the markings in a malicious manner:
(c) Willfully removes or otherwise destroys stakes or other physical markings used to mark the approximate location of underground facilities unless that removal or destruction occurs after the excavation or blasting is completed or as an expected consequence of the excavation or blasting activity.
(2) Upon complaint filed with the commission or upon the commission's own motion, following notice and hearing, a person, other than a governmental agency, who violates any of the provisions of this act may be ordered to pay a civil fine of not more than $5,000.00 for each violation. In addition to or as an alternative to any fine, the commission may require the person to obtain reasonable training to assure future compliance with this act. Before filing a complaint under this subsection, a person shall attempt to settle the dispute with the adverse party or parties using any reasonable means of attempted resolution acceptable to the involved parties.
Q. What are the responsibilities and liabilities for large areas of private property (e.g. university) as to who is responsible for damages?
A. It really depends on the situation. Many universities are MISS DIG 811 members, and locate their utilities. In those situations, the same rules would apply as they would to any other facility owner/operator. Large area private property owners are encouraged & often required to become MISS DIG members so they can be notified of an excavation. Without this type of notification, it is suggested that the property owner be notified directly.
Q. Does improperly following of the rules (i.e. not hand digging within the safe zone) remove liability protection from the contractor?
A. The safe zone is the area outside of the 48 inches on either side of the markings. However, if they’re referring to the caution zone (within the 4 ft. distance on either side of the markings), then you must hand dig to expose the line. It is the law, not a rule. If work is being done within the safe zone, outside of the 8 ft. wide caution zone (4 ft. from either side of the markings), hand digging is not required. An excavator can request additional assistance if hand digging does not expose the location of marked utility within the approximate location of the marked utility. “Approximate Location” means a strip of land at least 36 inches wide, but not wider than the width of the marked utility plus 18 inches on either side of the utility marks.
Q. What if locators don’t show up within 3 hours of the emergency request? Can we dig?
A. No. Under PA 174, an excavator is required to place an unmarked facility request after the 3-hour window. Member utilities must always be marked before excavation commences.
Q. I thought the 2nd office was in Gladstone?
A. The office in the UP was originally located in Escanaba, but it is now in Gladstone.
Q. When doing soil borings for a design project, how close to a marked utility are you obligated to hand dig to locate the utility prior to boring?
A. Design tickets are created strictly for work in the planning stage of a project, where no digging will yet occur. Lines are not marked unless the facility owner/operator cannot provide the designer with sufficient drawings or blueprints etc. On the other hand, soil boring does require a regular ticket, and therefore hand digging, if working within the caution zone (4ft on either side of the markings). You must bore in the safe zone, outside the 8ft wide caution zone, if you are not hand digging.
Q. When is Miss Dig's Ticket Management Software targeted to be available to member communities?
A. The start date is not currently available. However, it should be available by the 2017.
Q. We'd love to learn more about the Gold Shovel Standard!
A. MISS DIG 811 will be sending out educational information once the Gold Shovel Standard is adopted.
Q. Will there be a (software development kit) SDK for Near Ticket so we can include it into our own website interface?
A. MISS DIG 811 will have marketing tools available to our members, once the Near Ticket is set up.
Q. With design tickets, how does one handle non-responses or late responses from facility owners? (A certain facility) specifically is running about 7 weeks from ticket submittal before a response is received, and many others are not responding at all.
A. As part of the Intent of Purpose for design: “All communication regarding design tickets will be between the designer & the facility owner/operator.” However, by law, all member utilities are required to participate in the design process. So, if a member utility isn’t following correct design ticket procedures (refusing to participate or being extremely late in their response to the designer) or if the contact info for a member utility is no longer valid, the designer could contact MISS DIG 811 Member Services to let them know of the situation. At that point, Member Services could reach out to the member utility to make sure they have a clear understanding of the process.
If that didn’t work, the designer could file a Dispute Assistance Form (DAFFY) which is available on the MISS DIG 811 website: http://www.missdig.org/excavators/daffy.html . If the DAFFY response proved unhelpful, a complaint can be filed with the Michigan Public Service Commission.
Q. Bruce mentioned a web address for checking Positive Responses. Can you provide that to us please?
A. http://response.missdig811.org or http://newtin.missdig.org/newtinweb/gen_resp_inquiry.nas are both Positive Response web addresses. Positive Response is also available from the MISS DIG 811 website www.missdig811.org and clicking on ‘CHECK STATUS.’
Q. 18" either side of the facility for hand exposure, but how deep?
A. Public Act 174 does not currently require facility owners to provide the depth of their lines.
Q. What constitutes an emergency?
A. An emergency is defined as any sudden or unforeseen occurrence, including a government-declared emergency, involving a clear and imminent danger to life, health, or property, or imminent danger to the environment, that requires immediate correction in order to restore or to prevent the interruption of essential governmental service, utility services, or the blockage of public transportation and that requires immediate excavation or blasting.
Q. How does an emergency ticket look different than a normal ticket?
A. Depending on the ticket management system of the member utility, an emergency ticket may only be identified by the heading at the top of the ticket. Example:
MBRCDE 00001 MISSDIGa 10/04/16 11:41:17 A000000000-00A EMER NEW GRID
As opposed to
MBRCDE 00001 MISSDIGa 10/04/16 07:19:46 A00000000-00A NORM NEW GRID