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A new era in damage prevention has come to Wisconsin.
As part of the 2018 PSC Reform Bill, passed by the Wisconsin Legislature and signed into law by Governor Scott Walker, an enforcement program for stakeholders in damage prevention has begun.
Beginning July 9, 2018, Diggers Hotline will begin receiving complaints regarding violations to state statute 182.0175 regarding natural gas or other hazardous materials facilities. Once receiving a complaint, Diggers Hotline will begin a process that is outlined by state law that includes communication with the alleged offending party, and then sharing the response to that communication and the other facts of the case with a panel of stakeholders. The stakeholders will serve as a peer review panel and determine whether or not there is probable cause that an action occurred that the alleged offending party knew or should have known was in violation of 182.0175.
If the panel decides there is probable cause of a violation, they then decide if education or a referral to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission is the way to proceed. Education will be a course on the state law given by Diggers Hotline. If the case is referred to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, the commission may dismiss the complaint, issue a fine of up to $25,000 per offense, or enter into a consent agreement. For more details on the PSC's role in the process, please read paragraph 182.0175(3)(C) of Wisconsin State Statutes.
Enforcement of violations relating to facilities that are not natural gas or hazardous materials will be handled as it has in the past. See subsection 182.0175(3g) of Wisconsin State Statutes for more information.
More information about the enforcement process can be found here.