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Virtual PA Workshop

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With cancellation of the Damage Prevention Symposium, the CCGA Education and Marketing Committee is investigating other opportunities to connect with members and stakeholders across Canada and the virtual public awareness workshop that took place on May 28 was an opportunity to test those waters.

“This online session was planned in advance of cancellation of the DPS and its original intention was to connect with damage prevention partners across the country and across industries to develop a series of public awareness and education elements for all stakeholders to observe and deliver,” said Mike Sullivan, president of the Canadian Common Ground Alliance. 

Damage prevention public awareness and education requirements exist only in the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) Damage Prevention Regulations (DPR) under Section 16 – Damage Prevention Program. While most other utility owners engage in some form of awareness, legislation governing the prevention of damage to underground infrastructure in this regard is either silent or vague. 

During the development of CSA Z247, Damage Prevention for the Protection of Underground Infrastructure, the Technical Committee considered development of a matrix identifying public awareness elements to be observed and delivered by all damage prevention stakeholders. The goal of the matrix would be to establish a common awareness and education baseline and escalate commitments in parallel with risk and consequence; i.e., the higher the consequence from damage, the greater the public awareness and educational demands on that stakeholder(s). Unfortunately, there wasn’t sufficient time to develop this matrix; however, the merit of creating it remained.

“I’m hopeful this virtual PA Workshop will provide the foundation for the development of a public awareness and education best practice that will someday be published in a future edition of the CCGA Best Practices,” said Sullivan.

The CCGA’s Education and Marketing Committee will deliver its recommendations to the board of directors on how best to continue connecting with damage prevention stakeholders at the next Board meeting scheduled in mid-June.


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