Industry Leaders Launch Damage Prevention Action Center (DPAC)

Group will advocate to advance damage prevention policies amid increased investment in infrastructure


Washington, D.C. – Energy, utility and construction industry leaders have come together to establish the Damage Prevention Action Center (DPAC), a nonprofit advocacy organization aiming to address serious public safety issues underscored by the increased investment in our Nation’s infrastructure. The group will advance effective public policies and industry practices critical to maintaining the integrity of the complex network of underground utility infrastructure that communities depend on every day.

The group will draw on the expertise of Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines and the people who dig near them, and their trusted industry position, data and research to help inform its activities. CGA’s board unanimously approved the establishment of DPAC to work with key stakeholders, elected officials and policymakers across the political spectrum to update laws and regulations to meet the needs of today.

“Hundreds of times a day, critical underground utility lines that we depend on every day are damaged due to breakdowns in the damage prevention process,” said DPAC Chair Jerrod Henschel. “The impacts are staggering, with costs of damages conservatively estimated at more than $30 billion annually. The Damage Prevention Action Center’s mission is to advocate for data-driven legislative and regulatory policies and industry practices that protect our nation’s critical underground utility infrastructure and those who work and live near these important assets.”

The following policy positions, derived from more than 20 years of research and consensus-based industry Best Practices, will serve as the guiding force for the DPAC:

  • Drive behavior change using effective, balanced enforcement for all stakeholders.
  • Remove special-interest exemptions for 811 notifications to reduce damages.
  • Incentivize utility and pipeline owner/operators to provide distributed real-time mapping and geospatial data to 811 centers in a timely fashion.
  • Mandate reporting of all facility damages to the 811 center for improved analysis of the circumstances driving these damages.
  • Understand and educate stakeholders on the significant economic, environmental, safety and societal impacts of dig-ins on communities.

“Since the CGA Board of Directors issued its industry challenge in February 2023 to reduce damages by 50 percent in five years, the momentum has been remarkable,” said DPAC Executive Director Sarah K. Magruder Lyle, who also serves as CGA’s President and CEO. “Now is the time to take damage prevention to the next level and educate decision-makers at all levels of government on protecting critical underground infrastructure.”

Bringing data and resources to officials at the federal, state and local levels will help educate policymakers about the importance of strong damage prevention policies and how the issue impacts their communities.

For more information about DPAC’s work and its leadership, please visit


About DPAC

The Damage Prevention Action Center (DPAC)’s mission is to advocate for public policies and industry practices that protect underground utility infrastructure and those who work and live near these important assets. DPAC empowers elected and public officials to safeguard the public, improve worker safety and protect critical underground infrastructure by providing the Common Ground Alliance’s data-driven resources and consensus-based Best Practices in damage prevention.