What is the Common Ground Alliance (CGA)

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   What is the Common
   Ground Alliance (CGA)?
     The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) is a member-
   driven association dedicated to the reduction of         Accomplishments
   damages to the underground infrastructure. In recent     Since the CGA’s inception, the association has marked
   years, the association has established itself as the     the following milestones:
   leading organization in an effort to reduce damages to   • Entered into a cooperative agreement with the
   all underground facilities in North America through        Research & Special Program Administration’s Office
   shared responsibility among all stakeholders.              of Pipeline Safety (OPS)
     In promoting a spirit of shared responsibility, the    • Initiated CGA Regional Partner Program which has
   CGA welcomes all stakeholders who would like to be         grown to over 20 Regional Partners
   a part of the identification and promotion of best       • Recognized in the Pipeline Safety Improvement
   practices that lead to a reduction in damage. Any          Act of 2002
   “best practices” endorsed by the CGA come with           • Assisted the Office of Pipeline Safety with
   consensus support from experts representing the            successfully responding to several National
   following stakeholder groups: Excavator, Locator, Road     Transportation Safety Board Recommendations
   Builders, Electric, Telecommunications, Oil, Gas,        • Finalized the development of the CGA Damage
   Railroad, Water, One-Call, Public Works, Equipment         Information Reporting Tool (DIRT)
   Manufacturing, Fencing Contractors, State Regulators,      www.cga-dirt.com
   Insurance and Engineering/Design.                        • Published Best Practices field manual and CD.
   Our Background                                           To Learn More
   Officially formed in 2000, the CGA represents a          • To join or learn more about the CGA, please visit our
   continuation of the damage prevention efforts embodied     web site at www.commongroundalliance.com
   by the Common Ground Study. Sponsored by the U.S.
   Department of Transportation and completed in 1999,
   this study represented the collaborative work of 160
   industry professionals who identified best practices
   relating to damage prevention.
     The CGA provides today’s optimal forum where
   stakeholders can share information and perspectives
   and work together on all aspects of damage prevention
   issues. This allows the achievement of results that
   would otherwise be impossible. The CGA and the nearly
   1,200 members are working with industry stakeholders
   and regulators to produce stronger, more effective
   results through partnership, collaboration, and the
   pursuit of common goals in damage prevention.
   In addition to its Board of Directors, the CGA is
   comprised of 6 working committees:
   • Best Practices
   • Research & Development
   • Data Reporting & Evaluation
   • Educational Programs
   • Marketing, Membership & Communications
   • One-Call Systems International
   Each committee’s work supports the CGA mission in a
   unique, yet critical manner. Committee members are
   generally employees of a stakeholder organization.

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                                           Membership Form
          The CGA is a Washington, D.C., nonprofit organization under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

         — Please indicate the type of CGA Membership registration. Annual fees are noted below.
           Corporate/Company, Association, and Government/Municipality registrants will be contacted for
           additional information about their individual members. Sponsorship also provides for a number of
           individual members appropriate to the type of organization, and Sponsorship registrants will be
           contacted for additional information.
                        [ ] Corporate/Company ($2,000; 8 individual members)
                        [ ] Association ($3,000; 12 individual members)
                        [ ] Government/Municipality ($1,000; 4 individual members)

         Sponsorship*: [ ] Bronze            [ ] Silver           [ ] Gold              [ ] Platinum
         Minimum:      ($10,000)             ($25,000)            ($50,000)             ($100,000)
                       * Enter the Actual Sponsorship Amount if different from the minimums noted:
                       [ ] Individual ($100)

         — Please indicate the stakeholder category/industry that you represent (choose only one):
          [ ] Electric          [ ] Engineer/Design [ ] Excavator                 [ ] Gas             [ ] Oil
          [ ] One-Call          [ ] Public Works       [ ] Road Builders          [ ] Locator
          [ ] Insurance         [ ] Private Water      [ ] Railroad               [ ] State Regulator
          [ ] Telecommunications                       [ ] Equipment Manufacturer
         — Please provide the following information:
         Individual member or person to contact for non-individual memberships:
         Last name: ____________________________________ First name: __________________________________
         Position/job title: ____________________________________________________________________________
         All memberships:
         Company/employer name: ____________________________________________________________________
         Mailing/street address:_______________________________________________________________________
         City: __________________________________________State: ___________________Zip:_________________
         Country (if not USA):______________________________
         Phone #: __________________________ Fax #: ___________________________ Email:_________________
         Please send this form along with your check to: Common Ground Alliance, 1421 Prince Street,
                                                         Suite 410, Alexandria, VA 22314.
                                                         (Do not send cash or money orders).
         For more information on CGA Membership or Sponsorship contact:
         • Bob Kipp, phone: 703-836-1709 (Email: bobk@commongroundalliance.com); or
         • Erika Andreasen, phone: 703-836-1709 (Email: erikaa@commongroundalliance.com); or
         • Visit our Web site at http://www.commongroundalliance.com.

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   Common Ground Alliance
   Best Practices
    See Enclosed CD for CGA Best Practices

     The purpose of the Common Ground Study,                   appropriate for each stakeholder group, gauge current
   completed in 1999, was to identify and validate             levels of implementation and use of those Best
   existing best practices performed in connection with        Practices, and encourage and promote increased
   preventing damage to underground facilities. The            implementation of the Best Practices.
   collected best practices are intended to be shared
   among stakeholders involved with and dependent                In 2003, the CGA published Best Practices Version
   upon the safe and reliable operation, maintenance,          1.0. This version of the practices contains the
   construction, and protection of underground facilities.     practices statements and supporting descriptions
   The best practices contain validated experiences            contained in the study as well as any new practices
   gained that can be                                                                                   passed by
   further examined                                                                                     the Best
   and evaluated                                                                                        Practices
   for possible                                                                                         Committee
   consideration and                                                                                    since the
   incorporation into                                                                                   completion
   state and private                                                                                    of the Study
   stakeholder                                                                                          in 1999.
   underground facility                                                                                 Enclosed is a
   damage prevention                                                                                    CD of Best
   programs.                                                                                            Practices Version
                                                                                                        2.0 published
   The Best Practices                                                                                   in December
   are divided into                                                                                     2004.
   eight chapters that
   provide a collection
   of current damage                                                                                     New Practices
   prevention best                                                                                       and Practice
   practices. The eight                                                                                  Modifications:
   chapters include:                                                                                     Neither the
   • Planning &                                                                                          Department of
     Design Best                                                                                         Transportation
     Practices                                                                                           (DOT) nor the
                                                                                                         CGA ever
   • One Call Center
                                                                                                         intended that
     Best Practices                                                                                      the best
   • Location &                                                                                          practices
     Marking Best                                                                                        described in
     Practices                                                                                           1999 would
   • Excavation Best                                                                                     constitute a
     Practices                                                                                           static model.
   • Mapping Best                For a copy of this CD, contact the CGA office at 703-836-1709.          Rather, both
     Practices                                                                                          anticipated
   • Compliance Best Practices                                                                          that the best
   • Public Education Best Practices                            practices would evolve over time as more was learned
   • Reporting & Evaluation Best Practices                      and as technology advanced. Moreover, the CGA and
                                                                the DOT expected that there likely would be additional
     In 2000, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) was              best practices developed by the interested participants.
   formed to further the work completed during the Study.       To propose a new practice or practice modification,
   The CGA then developed the Best Practices Committee;         contact the CGA office (703-836-1709) to request
   the primary purpose of this committee is to continue to      a proposal form or visit the CGA office at
   focus on identifying those Best Practices that are           www.commongroundalliance.com.

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   CGA Regional Partner Program

     In addition to serving as a forum for stakeholders           prevention group the ability to influence other stakehold-
   at the national level, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA)        ers in areas of continual improvement and damage
                                                                  avoidance, and it will strengthen the group’s ability to
   provides an effective local forum to discuss best
                                                                  affect change at both state and national levels.
   practices in damage prevention. In the spirit of shared
   responsibility, the CGA works collectively and cooperative-   Getting Involved with an Existing Regional CGA
   ly with local damage prevention organizations in              The CGA now has regional partners in 22 states and
   communities throughout North America.                         provinces throughout the United States and Canada.If you
     The CGA recognizes that existing regional damage            are interested in becoming involved in one of the existing
   prevention groups have invaluable knowledge and               regional programs, please contact the CGA office at 703-
                                                                 836-1709 for additional information or visit the CGA
   experience, and these groups continue to make great
                                                                 web site at w w w.commongroundalliance.com.
   strides in preventing excavation damage to America’s
   infrastructure. The CGA also recognizes that some areas       Becoming a Partner -
   of the country currently have no regional damage              Partnership Requirements & Application Process
   prevention programs. Through the CGA Regional Partner         Requirements – The CGA only has two requirements for
   Program, the CGA partners with existing local, regional,      becoming a regional partner.
   and state damage prevention programs that have an               - One of the regional partner’s primary objectives
   objective of promoting communication among all                    should be to promote communication about damage
   stakeholders about damage prevention Best Practices.              prevention Best Practices.
   The CGA also encourages the development of these                - Regional partners must agree not to exclude any
   programs in other areas where they do not currently exist.        stakeholder group from their discussions.
                                                                 Application – To become a regional partner, you must
   Getting Involved at the Local Level                           submit a petition to the Common Ground Alliance.
   Regional Partner Program Milestones                           To request application information and petition forms,
   • Oklahoma Common Ground and Missouri Common                  contact the CGA office at 703-836-1709 or visit
      Ground are approved as the first CGA Regional              www.commongroundalliance.com.
      Partners – July 2002
   • Program grows to 7 regional partners by 2002
      Annual Meeting – December 2002
   • Representatives from 14 programs attend the
      First Annual Regional Partner meeting held in
      Tampa, Florida – December 2003
   • Partnership program grows to 22 partners
      representing 19 states in the United States
      and 3 provinces in Canada – October 2004
   Benefits of Partnership
   • Promotes the adoption of the CGA Best Practices
      within local communities as well as on a
      national level.
   • Strengthens the communication between national,
      regional, state, and local levels of damage prevention
   • Encourages promotion of damage prevention among
      stakeholders in local areas, and provides the
      opportunity to attend programs, conferences,
      and meetings locally.
   • Provides national support and visibility to
      stakeholders joining in local discussions. This will
      strengthen existing groups by helping to recruit
      stakeholders who may not currently participate in
      local damage prevention discussions.
   • Promotes more widely accepted practices, procedures,
     methods, and tools. This gives a regional damage

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   CGA Damage Information
   Reporting Tool (DIRT)
   1) How many damages occur to underground
      facilities each year?                                       What is DIRT? DIRT is a secure web application for
   2) What are the primary causes of these damages?               the collection and reporting of underground damage
                                                                  information that allows users to enter data records
   3) Are some educational campaigns more effective               individually or in bulk, pertaining to underground damage
      than others in conveying the call-before-you-dig            incident(s). The DIRT system allows users to submit
      message?                                                    damage reports, browse files submitted by the user’s
   4) Are damages increasing or decreasing each year?             organization, administer role-based company and user
                                                                  information, edit personal profiles; change/retrieve
      These are some of the many difficult questions that         password, and submit feedback and questions.
   remain unanswered due to the lack of damage data on a
   national level. Being able to answer these questions           Who can submit data? The CGA encourages all stake
   remains a necessary step in ensuring the safety and            holders to submit data to DIRT. Each submitter must
   protection of people and the infrastructure.                   follow the system’s registration and verification process
                                                                  prior to submitting data.
      Since the Common Ground Study, CGA’s stakeholders
   have focused on developing a method for North American         Is the data secure? Since the system is designed to be
   data collection. The first best practice in the Reporting &    unbiased, at no point will users from one company be
   Evaluation chapter of the CGA Best Practices states,           able to see data from another. In addition, the system is
   “Facility owners/operators, locators, excavators, or           designed to prevent unauthorized access of any kind.
   stakeholders with an interest in underground damage            Lastly, all data is housed in a secure location with a
   prevention report qualified information on incidents that      comprehensive backup and recovery plan in place, so
                                                                  you don’t have to worry about losing your data.
   could have, or did, lead to a damaged underground
   facility.” With this practice in mind, the CGA, working        Submitting Data – Getting Started
   with the Utility Notification Center of Colorado, developed    To access the system and begin the registration process,
   the Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) and               visit www.damagereporting.org. The home page will lead
   launched the system in November 2003. DIRT is a North          you to the initial registration process and also provide you
   American secure web application for the collection and         with links to documents such as the system’s User’s Guide
   reporting of underground damage data.                          and White Paper.

   Purpose of Data Collection                                     To Learn More
   The primary purpose in collecting underground facility         • For additional information on the system or to discuss
   damage data is to analyze data, to learn why damages             system requirements, contact the CGA office at
   occur, and how actions by industry can prevent them in           703-836-1709
   the future, thereby ensuring the safety and protection of      • To join or learn more about the CGA, please visit our
   people and the infrastructure. Data collection will allow        web site at www.commongroundalliance.com
   the CGA to identify root causes of damages, perform trend
   analysis, and help educate all stakeholders so that
   damages can be reduced through effective practices
   and procedures.
      The CGA's purpose is to reduce underground facility
   damage, which threatens the public's safety and costs
   billions of dollars each year. In order to better understand
   where, how and why these damages are occurring, we
   require accurate and comprehensive data from all
   stakeholders. The data will be analyzed and our findings
   will be issued via comprehensive reports. The data will not
   be used for enforcement purposes or to try and
   determine damage liability. The individual identities of
   parties involved with damages will be kept confidential.

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