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WHEREAS, the underground utility infrastructure in Virginia provides for vital services to the citizens and businesses of the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, these underground utility lines are placed at the risk of damage every time someone digs in close proximity to the facilities; and
WHEREAS, each year, the Commonwealth and country's underground utility infrastructure is jeopardized by unintentional damage caused by those who fail to call 811 to have underground lines located prior to digging; and
WHEREAS, the potential consequences of failing to call 811 include possible service interruption, damage to the environment, personal injury, and even death; and
WHEREAS, Virginians can call 811 from anywhere in the country and are encouraged to do so a few days prior to digging so that the local utility companies can mark the approximate location of buried lines with flags or paint, in order to prevent damage to vital utilities; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia State Corporation Commission and Virginia 811, working with all stakeholders, have developed a public education campaign using the "Dig with C.A.R.E., Keep Virginia Safe" message to increase awareness regarding safe digging practices; and
WHEREAS, the "Dig with C.A.R.E., Keep Virginia Safe" message was designed to encourage those who excavate to call 811, allow the required time for marking the underground utility lines, respect the marks, and excavate carefully;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 2018 as SAFE DIGGING MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.