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PG&E's Gold Shovel Standard Paves The Way For Safe Excavation

New standard focuses on public safety by preventing damage to underground utility lines

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced a new, first-of–its-kind excavation safety standard at an event for construction professionals. The Gold Shovel Standard, created by PG&E, will ensure that contractors doing excavation work for PG&E demonstrate a commitment to safe digging.

Gold Shovel Standard

PG&E developed the Gold Shovel Standard in accordance with California Government Code 4216 which governs excavation work in the state. Among other things, contractors must demonstrate that they call 811 before any excavation work begins to have underground lines located and marked by utility owners.

"PG&E's commitment to safety extends beyond the work done by our employees," said Jesus Soto, Senior Vice President of Gas Operations at PG&E. "The Gold Shovel Standard ensures that contractors doing excavation work for PG&E have a strong commitment to safe excavation practices and are measured against a consistent safety standard."

The Gold Shovel Standard is an important step towards improving public safety by reducing the number of instances where unsafe excavation results in damages underground utility lines—there were more than 2,000 damages to underground PG&E facilities in 2013 alone. Striking an underground utility line can result in injury, outages and expensive repairs.

"The Common Ground Alliance stands 100 percent behind any effort that enhances safety and reduces dig-ins to underground utility lines," said Bob Kipp, president, The Common Ground Alliance, a member-driven association dedicated to ensuring public safety, environmental protection, and the integrity of services by promoting effective damage prevention practices. "We support PG&E's worthwhile efforts in creating the Gold Shovel Standard."

"Getting permission from the appropriate Underground Service Alert office before excavating is the most important step—whether it's for a satellite dish, fence, landscaping or a major pipeline," said Contractors State License Board Enforcement Chief David Fogt. "PG&E's program to hold contractors to the highest safety standard is vital and commendable."

For more information about safe digging visit www.pge.com/digsafely.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.

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SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

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