The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

The 811 Promise

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 18, 2012

Here’s a concerning factoid: Digging activity in the United States damages a buried utility line every three minutes. According to the Common Ground Alliance, one-third of those accidents could’ve been avoided if someone had called 811 to notify the local call-before-you-dig center. Making the call reduces the likelihood of an incident to less than 1 percent, the alliance says.

All it takes is taking the time. It’s a free phone call. The upside is individual and community safety: Excavation damage is the leading cause of injury and death from pipeline accidents.

Right now the alliance is conducting a campaign to “Make the 811 Promise” – a commitment to always call 811 before digging. There’s also a feature to share the 811 Promise message with colleagues and others.

Visit the website. Make the pledge. Make a difference.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.