PSC fines New Town construction firm for violating the "one call" law | Prairie Public Broadcasting

PSC fines New Town construction firm for violating the "one call" law

Dec 4, 2019

A New Town construction firm has been fined $4600 for violating North Dakota’s “Call Before You Dig” law.

The owners of the Arrow pipeline filed a complaint against Diamond Willow Energy, LLC for not following that law. Public Service Commission chairman Brian Kroshus said Diamond Willow was working on a project on the Fort Berthold Reservation.

"They (Diamond Willow) failed to contact the Notification Center and provide an excavation notice or location notice before beginning an excavation," Kroshus said.

Kroshus said as a result, the company hit both an 8-inch crude oil pipeline and a 6 inch natural gas pipeline. And that affected a protective coating on those pipelines.

"That protective coating is put on the pipes to make sure they maintain their integrity while being placed underground," Kroshus said. "When placed underground, it prevents deterioration. That protective coating is terribly important."

The cost to replace that coating was nearly $71,000. Diamond Willow had to pay for those damages.

"This gets to be a really costly problem for companies who don't take the extra step," said Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. "It's not a way to save time or money."

Kroshus said Diamond Willow is a first time offender. He said the company was easy to work with in drafting the consent agreement.