Gas-line rupture comment clarified | SummitDaily.com
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Gas-line rupture comment clarified

Dave Parmley, Fire Chief
Lake Dillon Fire Protection District

In reference to the article printed in the Summit Daily News on Saturday, August 30, entitled “Gas-line rupture blamed on mapping mistakes,” I wish to clarify one of the comments attributed to me. When I stated “that though utilities aren’t always where they are described,” I then followed this by commenting in a broad sense that this is why excavators must be all the more cautious when digging.

The quote “the excavator should be more cautious” was incorrect. I apologize if this caused any heartache on behalf of the contractor, RKR. I did not intend to infer or state that RKR should have been more cautious in this particular situation. I have met with RKR and the Frisco Sanitation District and confirm they did their due diligence in every respect by getting not just one, but three separate utility locates prior to commencing with the excavation to repair the sanitation line.

It is essential that the Summit Daily News accurately captures quotes by public officials, especially when those can adversely affect a private entity. In this case, the 4-inch-high pressure natural gas line location was not shown on the utility map, and the secondary service line was more than 10 feet off from where it had been located on the street. There is no question that natural gas and electric utilities, such as Xcel Energy, can do a better job of maintaining accurate and current maps of their buried lines, especially primary feeders.

This particular incident again clearly illustrates what is at stake in terms of risk to life and property and why an immediate evacuation of an affected area is critical. Lake Dillon Fire Rescue looks forward to working with county and town officials as well as the various utility companies to find a solution to the shared challenge of providing detailed and quality utility maps.


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