The Utility Notification Center of Colorado
PHMSA 811 Video Contest

This is an exciting contest that provides teaching and learning opportunities for students on the critical topic of safety awareness. Students who understand the importance of being safe near underground pipelines and where energy sources are present are better prepared to make critical decisions that will ensure a safe environment.

It is designed to combine a student’s originality and artistic talent with the ability to share the important message of Know What’s Below, Call 811 Before You Dig. Grade levels for entries are 9-12. The teacher’s role is to direct and motivate students to submit video entries.

The student’s role is to work individually or as a team of two to produce an original video (2 minutes or less) and write an explanation of his/her understanding of the Call 811 theme. The contest packet includes a brochure, flier, entry forms and NEF’s Natural Gas Safety Poster.  Notification of awards will occur by May 24, 2018.  Contest entry deadline is April 27, 2018.

Click here for more information


  • One grand prize individual or individuals in a team of two will (each) receive a laptop computer (valued up to $1500)Call 811 T-shirts will also be provided to the student(s) and their teacher.
  • The teacher of the grand prize winner or team will be awarded an $811 classroom education mini-grant.
  • Two honorable mention winners or teams (of two students) and their teachers will receive a 32GB WiFi enabled iPad. All honorable mention students and teachers will receive Call 811 T-shirts.

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By Whitney Nichols
PHMSA 811 Poster Contest

This is an exciting contest that provides teaching and learning opportunities for students on the critical topic of safety awareness. Students who understand the importance of being safe near underground pipelines and where energy sources are present are better prepared to make critical decisions that will ensure a safe environment. It is designed to combine a student’s originality and artistic talent with the ability to share the important message of Know What’s Below, Call 811 Before You Dig.

Grade levels for entries are 4-6. Home-schooled students are eligible also. Parents may register for an informational packet.

For classroom registrations, the teacher’s role is to direct and motivate students and to submit all student entries. The student’s role is to produce an original poster and write an explanation of his or her understanding of the 811 theme. The contest packet includes: an instructional poster, brochure, flier, classroom set of poster boards for student art and a postage-paid return envelope to submit entries.  Notification of awards will occur by May 24, 2018.  Contest entry deadline is April 27, 2018. Click here for more information.

Click here to Register


  • The first 811 student entries received will be awarded Call 811 T-shirts and all other entries will receive Certificates of Appreciation.
  • The grand prize winner will be awarded: a trip to Washington D.C. (for the student and a parent/guardian) in 0r before August 2018.
  • The teacher of the grand prize winner will be awarded: a classroom education grant of $811.
  • Two honorable mention winners and their teachers will be awarded Kindle Fire with Alexa tablets.

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By Whitney Nichols
February CGA Update

The February issue of the Common Ground Alliance Update is now available. Read it here.

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By Whitney Nichols

April is National Safe Digging Month and Colorado 811 is asking fire stations across the state to show their support during the month of April by reminding their local communities and residents to click or call 811 before any digging project, no matter how large or small. It’s simple, we provide the banners and ask your stations to hang them for the month of April. The winner will receive a $750 gift card to King Soopers. Get the details below!

Click here for the BANNER ORDER FORM

Banner Photo Contest Requirements:

  • Hang or display safe digging banners for the month of April – We’ll provide the banners, free of charge (if you did not already receive one from last year, please fill out the order form above)
  • Take a creative photo incorporating the banner and post it to your social media accounts, using the hashtags #SafeDigMonth and #CO811
  • Tag and like Colorado 811 on Facebook and follow on Twitter
  • Once the fire stations have done this, they will be entered into the contest

This campaign is limited to 250 banners, so place your order ASAP. Banner orders must be placed by Monday, March 26, 2018. If you have questions regarding the banners or this contest please contact Whitney Cregger at [email protected] or (303) 205-6372. Your banner must be visible in front of your fire station during the month of April.

Be creative and have fun! The winner will receive a $750 King Soopers gift card for their fire station. Winners will be judged on creativity and sharing the message on social media, so don’t forget to use the hashtags #SafeDigMonth and #CO811. Winners of the Safe Dig Month Banner Photo Contest will be announced in early May.

Photos of the banners and fire stations will be posted on our website, social media sites and included in our newsletter.

Last Year’s Submissions

2017 Safe Dig Month Banner Contest Winner – Federal Heights Fire Rescue

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By Whitney Nichols
Legislative Action Alert

Call or E-mail Lawmakers TODAY.  Tell them to vote YES on SB 18-167!

We need your help. The Colorado Contractor Association (CCA) has worked closely with a broad coalition of interests to make changes and updates to the 811 program. Please call and email members of the Senate Finance Committee.

Senator Jim Smallwood, Vice Chair
Phone: 303-866-4869, E-mail: [email protected]
Senator Lois Court
Phone: 303-866-4861, E-mail: [email protected]
Senator Cherri Jahn
Phone: 303-866-4856, E-mail: [email protected]
Senator Jack Tate
Phone: 303-866-4883, E-mail: [email protected]
About SB 18-167
Colorado’s 811 One-Call Program was created in 1981 to prevent injury to persons and damage to property resulting from damage to underground facilities during excavation.
The 811 law established a single statewide notification system administered by an association of the owners and operators of underground facilities. Through the notification association, excavators obtain crucial information regarding the location of underground facilities prior to excavation, thereby greatly reducing risks of injuries or damages.
In a Nutshell, the bill updates best practices, provides for tier transition, and creates an enforcement provision…
SB 18-167 updates current law to address industry advancements and best practices:
  • Adds a requirement that all newly installed facilities are locatable, by which Colorado can make it easier to find – and protect – those facilities the next time excavation is required
  • Subsurface utility engineering: For government-owned projects, establishes guidelines on the information to be included in bid plans stamped by a licensed civil engineer for horizontal projects. This information improves construction plans by reducing the number of unknowns prior to construction, thereby reducing the amount of risk that must be priced into a contractor’s bid while also reducing the number of times projects are delayed due to a contractor encountering an unexpected utility.
  • Clarifies duties of owners and operators in marking the location of facilities and the duties of excavators in having adequate markings throughout the excavation period.
Provides for Tier Membership Transition…
  • Phases in a true “one-call” system by eliminating the tiered membership provisions, (within two years after the effective date of the bill) and removes the exemption for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
  • Specifies that current Tier-2 members will begin to receive the same electronic notifications as Tier-1 members from Colorado 811 beginning on the effective date of the bill but no later than January 1, 2019, at no cost for two years.
  • A true “one-call” system improves safety by ensuring all owners and operators receive notification of excavation activities from the 811 Notification Association. It will also improve efficiency: the current system adds time and confusion to the pre-excavation notification process by requiring excavators to make multiple calls to facility owners.
Creates an Enforcement Provision…
  • Creates an Underground Damage Prevention Safety Commission composed of representatives from local government, owners or operators, excavators and the Chief Executive Officer of the Notification Association.
  • Authorizes the Safety Commission to accept and review complaints and impose penalties that may include remedial action such as training and education as well as penalties.
  • Does not impact any person’s ability to pursue civil remedies and reasonable attorney fees for personal injury or property damage.
  • Establishes an even playing field and applies enforcement equally to all participants of the state’s One-Call Program while acknowledging local government authority to enforce its own program requirements.
Please call members of the Senate Finance Committee and ask lawmakers to vote YES on SB 18-167.

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By Whitney Nichols
2018 El Paso County Excavator Breakfast

April 6, 2018 at 6:30 am at the Hotel Elegante Conference & Event Center

Please join the El Paso County Damage Prevention Council in kicking off National Safe Digging Month at the 7th Annual Excavator Breakfast on April 6, 2018 in Colorado Springs. Come eat a delicious breakfast, network with industry stakeholders, and learn about One Call Legislation updates and industry happenings. Internationally recognized author and speaker, Chad Hymas will speak with a powerful message about safety. Attendees include: Excavators, Facility Owners, Operators, Utility Locators, Regulatory and Compliance Entities, Emergency Responders and anyone interested in protecting life and property through utilizing safe digging practices.
Seats are limited, so RSVP early!  EVENT FULL!
Registration at 6:30am
Breakfast promptly at 7:00am
Key Note Speaker at 7:30am

Please RSVP by April 2, 2018 EVENT FULL!

Free Breakfast, Drawings, Door Prizes!
Please contact Shelly Dornick at [email protected] for any questions regarding the breakfast.
Sponsorship Opportunities 

Click here to download the sponsorship letter and fill out the following sponsorship form. For questions regarding sponsorship please contact Tracy Beers at [email protected].

Sponsored by:

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By Whitney Nichols
COGCC approves comprehensive new flowline regulations

DENVER — Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 — The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) today approved comprehensive new regulations addressing oversight of flowlines and related infrastructure associated with oil and gas development.

The nine-member commission unanimously approved the updated regulations following three days of testimony from the public, local governments, homebuilders, citizen groups, trade associations and members of the oil and gas industry on more than 20 pages of proposed new and amended rules.

“We believe these new rules are another important step in the aftermath of the Firestone tragedy,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “State government and local municipalities depend on the commitment that industry is doing everything to to keep our communities safe.”

The flowline rules take numerous steps to strengthen requirements for design, installation, maintenance, testing, tracking and abandoning flowlines. Flowlines describe the kinds of pipelines that most typically move fluids around specific oil and gas development locations from wells to separators to storage tanks or to larger pipelines.

The new rules include dozens of changes and improvements to flowline oversight, including:

  • Requirements for more detailed tracking, location data and record-keeping for flowlines that carry fluids away from a specific oil and gas location, such as lines that may travel from a well to a storage tank not co-located on the same wellpad, or to a gathering line. The rule permits COGCC to share resulting, more specific geospatial information with local governments through a confidentiality agreement.
  • Requirements that any flowlines not in use – but not yet abandoned – are locked and marked. All such lines must continue to undergo integrity testing under the same standards as active lines until abandonment. Any risers associated with abandoned flowlines  must be cut below grade. This rule change makes permanent the post-Firestone order to eliminate above-ground risers connected to abandoned flowlines.
  • More detailed requirements for operators to demonstrate flowline integrity, including updated standards for integrity-testing lines, more testing options that align with newer technology, and the elimination of pressure-testing exemptions for low pressure lines.
  • Requirements for full operator participation in the Utility Notification Center of Colorado’s “one-call” program to ensure a centralized home for all data on flowline locations and access to that information through the established 811 “call-before-you-dig” system.

The new flowline rules and enhanced participation by operators in 811 include three key components of state actions outlined by Gov. Hickenlooper following a three-month review of oil and gas operations last year. The review followed the home explosion in Firestone last April that killed two people and injured a third.

“Our work with operators last spring and summer to identify, quantify and test all flowlines near residential areas was a significant start,” said COGCC director Matt Lepore. “These rules – and additional actions ordered by the Governor that are still unfolding – continue to keep our focus on this work.”

The final draft of the proposed rules can be found here, and an overview of the COGCC’s basis and purpose for the rules here. The latter provides context and analysis for the rulemaking. All documents associated with the rulemaking, including formal statements from parties to the hearing, are housed here.

The Commission also directed COGCC staff to empanel a stakeholder group representing a cross-section of interests to review current and developing instrument-based technologies and methods  for preventing or detecting leaks and spills from flowlines. COGCC staff will present to the Commission quarterly on the group’s progress with a final presentation of the results of the stakeholder group’s study, along with any associated recommendations for changes to COGCC’s policies or rules, within a year.

The flowline rulemaking is the latest in a consistent and long-running effort to strengthen the regulatory oversight of the COGCC, dating to 2008.

The COGCC, under the Hickenlooper Administration, has crafted rules to increase distances between drilling and neighborhoods; reduce the effects of light, noise and odors; protect groundwater; reduce air emissions in partnership with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; disclose hydraulic fracturing chemicals; tighten requirements for spill reporting; significantly elevate penalties for operators violating Commission rules; toughen requirements for operating in floodplains; and amplify the role of local governments in siting large operations near communities.

The Commission has also significantly expanded inspection, engineering, reclamation, and environmental staff; increased ease of access and the volume of data available to the public; intensified collaboration with local governments; sponsored ongoing studies to increase understanding of impacts to air and water; and adopted several formal policies to address health, safety, and environmental issues brought about by new technologies, all while experiencing an unprecedented increase in oil and gas development in Colorado.


Media Contact:Shelby Wieman | [email protected] | 303-866-4640

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By Whitney Nichols

Staking University will hold a Locator Certification Seminar on May 16 & 17 and September 13 & 14, 2018 at the City of Boulder Municipal Service Center located at 5050 Pearl St. Boulder, CO 80301.

For more details and to register, please click here (May class) and here (September class).

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By Whitney Nichols
Regional Stormwater Educational Seminar – Pueblo, CO

Join the City of Pueblo for the Regional Stormwater Educational Seminar on February 8, 2018 at the CSU Pueblo campus located at 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO. This seminar is designed to assist Developers, Contractors, Builders, Engineers, Municipalities and others wanting to learn about: Green Alternatives to Rock & Concrete for Channel Stabilization, Colorado 811 Requirements, Erosion Control on Linear/Utility Projects Seeding and more.

Click here to download the registration form. Mail registration form (back of flyer) to Teresa Guagliardo at Pueblo County – 33601 United Ave, Pueblo, CO 81001 or email to [email protected].

Location Information: CSU Pueblo Campus map and Chemistry Building map 

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By Whitney Nichols
Save the Date – El Paso County Excavator Breakfast

Save the date for the El Paso County Excavator Breakfast on April 6, 2018 in Colorado Springs. More information to come.

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By Whitney Nichols