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Dickinson construction firm fined $4150 for 'one call' violations

Dave Thompson, Prairie Public
North Dakota Public Service Commissioners Randy Christmann (l), chairman Julie Fedorchak and Brian Kroshus

A Dickinson construction firm has been fined $4150 for violations of North Dakota’s “Call Before You Dig” law.

BEK Consulting was working in the Killdeer area. It had filed an “excavation notice” – as required by state law. North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Brian Kroshus said the firm started the work on time – but in the course of excavation, it struck a natural gas pipeline belonging to MDU, causing $1000 in damage.

"The complaint alleges a violation for failure to conduct an excavation in a careful and prudent manner," Kroshus said.

Under a consent agreement, BEK Consulting was fined $1500. But Kroshus said under earlier agreements, the company had some of its fines suspended – with the provision that if other violations occurred, those suspended fines would be reinstated. Earlier, BEK Consulting damaged three other MDU Natural gas lines in Killdeer. In total, BEK Consulting has to pay $4150.

That most recent complaint came in five days after the other agreement.

"I think it sends the right message to industry," Kroshus said. "Yes, you need to get a ticket — that's a requirement. But you also have to do the work very carefully, particularly around facilities that have been properly marked — which they were — and included a natural gas line."