Ontario leads Canada by becoming the first province to legislate mandatory membership in 'One Call' system for underground utility locates
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 14, 2012) - Enbridge (TSX:ENB) (NYSE:ENB) congratulates Ontario Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) from all three provincial political parties for working together in the spirit of collaboration to pass Bill 8, Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, 2012 (Bill 8), a move that makes Ontario the Canadian leader in safe digging practices.
The final passage of Bill 8 today in the Ontario Legislature will lead to the implementation of a single 'One Call' system in the province that will make it easier for Ontarians to find out the location of underground infrastructure before they dig. Membership in the existing system is voluntary, and at times, Ontarians were required to make up to 13 separate calls to obtain this important information. All too often, this confusing process led to people digging without contacting local utilities for the location of underground wires, cables and pipes, a scenario that could be extremely dangerous or even deadly.
Enbridge Gas Distribution's natural gas pipelines in Ontario are damaged an average of four times each day and much of this damage is the result of people digging before calling for the location of underground utilities. "Each time an Enbridge pipeline is damaged, emergency responders, our employees and people in neighbourhoods across Ontario are put in potentially dangerous situations," said Guy Jarvis, President of Enbridge Gas Distribution. "Ontario families and businesses depend on underground infrastructure to provide critical services every day and protecting this infrastructure is just good public policy."
A streamlined system, similar to that outlined in Bill 8, exists in all 50 U.S. States. As a result, these States have seen a reduction in damages to underground infrastructure by as much as 70 per cent since implementation. The Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance (ORCGA) estimates that annual damage to underground infrastructure currently amounts to more than $39 million, resulting in unnecessary costs to Ontarians on their utility bills and property taxes. Damages also result in lost revenue and lower productivity and efficiency for businesses of all sizes in Ontario.
"Today is a historic day for safety in Ontario and Enbridge looks forward to the speedy implementation of Bill 8. The safety of our customers, employees, emergency responders and the public at large is something that we take very seriously," added Jarvis.
Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. has a more than 160-year history and is Canada's largest natural gas distribution company. It owns and operates more than 35,000 km of pipelines for the transportation and distribution of natural gas in Ontario. Enbridge Gas Distribution and its affiliates distribute natural gas to more than 1.9 million customers in Ontario, Quebec, New York State and New Brunswick. It is owned by Enbridge Inc., a Canadian company that is a North American leader in delivering energy and one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations. As a transporter of energy, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. operates, in Canada and the U.S., the world's longest crude oil and liquids transportation system. As a generator of energy, Enbridge has interests in close to 1,000 megawatts of renewable and alternative energy generating capacity and is expanding its interests in wind and solar energy, geothermal and hybrid fuel cells. Enbridge employs approximately 7,000 people, primarily in Canada and the U.S. and is ranked as one of Canada's Greenest Employers, and one of the Top 100 Companies to Work for in Canada. Enbridge's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ENB. For more information visit www.enbridge.com or www.enbridgegas.com.