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LATIMER | A Latimer man has been fined $5,000 for violating Iowa's One Call law.

Roy E. Plagge conducted an excavation to install drainage tile in rural Franklin County on Sept. 22 without first contacting the Iowa One Call notification center to provide notice to operators of underground utilities, according to a news release from the Iowa Attorney General's Office.

During the excavation, Plagge's tiling equipment hit and damaged a 4-inch diameter natural gas pipeline in two locations.

The damage resulted in leaking gas but no explosion.

Plagge notified the owner of the pipeline, Northern Natural Gas, of the damaged pipeline. Northern Natural Gas, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and the local fire department dispatched emergency response staff to the site.

During pipeline repairs, Northern Natural Gas used natural gas bottle trucks to maintain service in Chapin, Rockwell and Sheffield.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller filed lawsuits against Plagge and six other alleged Iowa One Call violators around the state in late December.

District Court Judge James Drew ordered Plagge to pay a $5,000 civil penalty and permanently enjoined him from violating the One Call law. 

Those who are planning projects that will entail digging, excavating or disturbing the earth are required to provide notice to the Iowa One Call Center at 800-292-8989 or 811 at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of digging/excavation. 

— Mary Pieper

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