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Con Edison Media Relations
For Immediate Release: August 29, 2007
1:15 p.m.


Toll-Free Number To Save Lives, Money For Excavators

NEW YORK – Con Edison is encouraging all contractors, and anyone who excavates, to learn about a new federally mandated toll-free telephone number to call before they start digging in New York City or Westchester County.

The national 811 “Call Before You Dig” toll-free number was established to make it easier for excavators to contact their local utility before digging.

Instead of remembering individual local phone numbers, an easy to remember 811 call initiates this quick, cost-free service. Local 811 call-center personnel will notify participating affected utility companies, which will dispatch crews to mark the approximate location of their underground facilities. 

Excavation damage to underground equipment is the number one safety issue affecting gas pipelines.

Even simple digging jobs by homeowners or landscapers can damage utility lines and create a hazardous condition, disrupt vital services to entire neighborhoods, injure those who dig, and result in expensive fines and repairs. There are nearly 700,000 underground utility damages annually nationwide – that’s more than one unintentional hit per minute. Calling 811 before digging will reduce the likelihood of damage to underground lines. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the law in New York state.

To learn more about the new “Call Before You Dig” hotline log on to: For more information about Dig Safely programs in New York, log on to:  or

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $27 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York. For additional financial, operations and customer service information, visit Con Edison’s Web site at

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