MISS DIG is Michigan’s utility safety notification system that helps mark public utility lines to assist businesses and individuals with their digging projects. Companies are statutorily obligated to timely mark their buried lines after receiving dig notices, in order to protect the integrity and safety of the natural gas pipeline system, in addition to sewers, telecommunication lines, water lines, and buried electrical lines.
A recent settlement against Consumers Energy approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) reminds companies to do their MISS DIG Diligence in a timely matter. According to a press release by the Attorney General's office, following AG Nessel’s intervention, the MPSC approved a $545,000 settlement against Consumers Energy after the utility company was determined by MPSC staff to have violated MISS DIG regulations. This action follows the MPSC’s June 7, 2019 show cause order, which required the utility company to show why it should not be found in violation of the MISS DIG Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act, Public Act 174 of 2013. MPSC staffers had determined Consumers Energy failed to satisfy its statutory obligation to timely mark its facilities after receiving dig notices.
Consumers Energy will implement new staking procedures and reporting requirements in an effort to avoid repeating this problem in the future.