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Starting a spring digging project? Call 8-1-1 to avoid damaging underground utility lines

ELKTON, Md. – March 28, 2016 – Spring marks the traditional start of digging season, when people head outdoors to start outdoor projects they had been waiting to tackle all winter. Elkton Gas wants to remind homeowners and contractors that the digging season also increases their chances of damaging underground utility lines, including natural gas, if they do not take the necessary step of calling 8-1-1 before digging.

When making the free call to 8-1-1, homeowners and contractors are connected to Miss Utility, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate horizontal locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. Once lines have been accurately marked, digging can begin. Miss Utility neither owns nor marks any underground utilities.

To build awareness about protecting underground utilities and help ensure the safety and the continuity of critical services, Elkton Gas is providing homeowners and contractors with the following safe digging guidelines:

  • Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig: When starting an outdoor project involving digging, customers are advised to contact 8-1-1 as part of their plans. Calls to the free locating service can be made up at least two full business days prior to the day they plan to work. The requests to have public utility operators mark underground facilities, including natural gas, electric, water, sewer, telephone and cable lines, can be made 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Allow the Required Time for Marking: Before doing any digging, customers are urged to call 8-1-1 and wait the required time to have underground utility lines marked. The approximate location of underground utility lines will be marked with color-coded spray paint, flags or stakes that correspond to the utility. The color used for natural gas is yellow.
  • Respect the Marks: Once the lines are marked, use the appropriate digging methods, which may include hand tools, and dig no closer than 18 inches from the marked utility lines.
  • Excavate Carefully: Make sure the marks remain visible during the project. If they are illegible or removed, customers are encouraged to call 8-1-1 to have the lines re-marked. If a natural gas line is accidentally damaged or the distinct odor of gas is present, first call 9-1-1 then 866.281.6774 from a safe location. Do not operate any machinery or any equipment that might cause a spark.

For information about natural gas safety, visit www.elktongas.com/safety.

About Elkton Gas
Elkton Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), provides natural gas delivery service to approximately 6,000 residential and business natural gas customers in the greater Elkton area in north eastern Maryland. For more information, visit www.elktongas.com.

About AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE:GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services and midstream operations. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves over one million retail customers through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Pivotal Home Solutions, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. AGL Resources is a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500 Index.

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