The leading cause of gas distribution system incidents has been external force damage during excavation work near pipelines. OPS invests considerable resources in the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) to promote damage prevention. CGA members include all underground facility damage prevention stakeholders and CGA has assumed stewardship of these OPS initiatives:
   Damage Prevention

Best Practices - In 1999, the OPS sponsored the Common Ground Study to develop "Best Practices" for preventing damage to pipelines and other underground facilities.

A CGA committee ensures the Best Practices are updated to reflect new technology and practices.

Dig Safely - This educational campaign stresses damage prevention by encouraging excavators to participate in one-call programs. A CGA committee continues to develop educational materials for use in communities, work sites, and public forums.

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Some material from Office of Pipeline Safety (PHMSA) website: www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline