BISMARCK, ND – Governor Doug Burgum has proclaimed April as Safe Digging Month in North Dakota. In recognition, the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) is reminding everyone of the potential dangers and consequences of digging without first clicking or calling 8-1-1, North Dakota’s Call-Before-You-Dig number.

“When you gamble with safety, you bet your life. As we look forward to spring and getting outside, let us always remember ‘Safe Digging’,” said Commissioner Sheri Haugen-Hoffart, who holds the damage prevention portfolio.  “Do what is right, not easy. Safe digging month is a way to remind us all to call 811 before starting any digging project.” 

North Dakota law requires anyone conducting an excavation to notify 8-1-1 at least two business days in advance of digging. This is a free service to homeowners and farmers working on their own property/land. Personnel will be sent to mark the locations of the underground facilities, typically within a couple of days. The markings are valid for 21 days after they are placed as identified on your excavation notice ticket. This process is coordinated through North Dakota One Call. The Public Service Commission’s role is to enforce the requirements of the state’s damage prevention laws and take action when violations are reported to the Commission. The PSC can levy a fine up to $25,000 per violation depending on severity.

Each year North Dakota’s underground utility infrastructure is jeopardized by unintentional damage from those who fail to call 8-1-1 to have underground facilities located prior to digging. Since 2009, the PSC has received and processed 324 complaints related to violations of the Call-Before-You-Dig law. In total, approximately $414,950 in fines have been assessed against companies or individuals who have violated the law. The consequences of striking an underground utility can be severe including explosions resulting in injury or death, service interruptions or damage to the environment.

The significant residential and business growth occurring throughout North Dakota and the increased demand for pipeline infrastructure to support the energy industry have dramatically increased demand for the One-Call Program.

Safe Digging Month is endorsed each April by the North Dakota Public Service Commission, the Common Ground Alliance and the North Dakota One-Call Board. For more information about 8-1-1 and begin your excavation notice, visit the North Dakota One-Call Board’s website at For safety tips, best practices and other information, visit the Common Ground Alliance website at (A copy of the Governor’s Proclamation is included below)

     The North Dakota Public Service Commission is a constitutionally created state agency with authority to permit, site and regulate certain business activities in the state including electric and gas utilities, telecommunications companies, power plants, electric transmission lines, pipelines, railroads, commercial weighing devices, pipeline safety and coal mine reclamation. For more information, contact the Public Service Commission at (701) 328-2400 or