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"One call" violation brings $1000 fine

A construction company has agreed to pay a $1000 fine for violating North Dakota’s “one call” law – or the “call before you dig” law.

SJ Louis Construction was doing work in the Watford City area. It had filed a one-call ticket. And when it initially started digging, it avoided a fiber optic line owned by Reservation Telephone. However, there was a second line below that one – and the construction company cut the line.

The Public Service Commission levied the fine. PSC Chairman Brian Kalk says under the current state law, the company could have been fined $5000 – but he believes the $1000 fine is reasonable.

"No one was killed, no one was injured," said Kalk. "There were no significant outages. But this is significant -- because it is the second time the company has violated One Call."

Kalk says Reservation Telephone had told the construction company the second line was there.

After August First – the maximum fine for a one-call violation will go to $25,000.

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