Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act a "Huge Victory": OSWCA
Bill 8 proposed to make participation in a province-wide 'one call' system mandatory for all owners of underground assets.
Last week, the Ontario Legislature passed Bill 8, the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, which establishes a single point-of-contact call system for all underground infrastructure projects in Ontario. The Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association released an announcement shortly after, calling the ‘one call’ system a huge victory that is long overdue. Currently, all 50 U.S. states have a mandatory ‘one call’ system in place.
“This is a huge victory in the OSWCA’s continued efforts to see Ontario become the first Canadian province to mandate a provincial wide ‘one call’ system and will go a long way to making Ontario a safer place for us to work and live” said Mark Van Bree, president of the OSWCA, in a press release.
This Act will enable companies to call just one simple number to request and receive all required underground locates. Previously, companies had to call up to 13 different numbers, often unsure if they had reached all underground utility owners. This newly minted ‘one-call’ system is said to drastically decrease the number of underground infrastructure assaults that happen during excavation.
“Now that the Bill has passed the OSWCA is eager to begin working with the Ontario government on the regulations to ensure that this legislation reaches the desired results of making excavations as safe as possible,” says Joe Accardi, OSWCA executive director.