In 1994, a devastating gas pipeline explosion led state officials to pass the Underground Facility Protection Act which was designed to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence, to monitor current excavation practices and to promote public awareness. Since the passage of the law, the State of NJ has developed and implemented one of the most stringent excavation safety/One Call programs in the nation.
“I began my career with Atlantic City Electric in 1994 in the office of the General Counsel. I immediately became involved in and assumed compliance related roles and responsibilities associated with the newly adopted law. Since that time, I have continued to actively participate in the damage prevention process through subsequent positions held in the Legal Department and the Atlantic Region area of Construction Operations.”
In 2007, Paula was chosen to represent Atlantic City Electric within the NJ Common Ground Alliance (NJCGA), a stakeholder group of utility companies, municipalities, and governmental agencies whose mission is to promote damage prevention practices. It was here that her responsibility changed to passion.
“I’ve become really passionate about this effort and I get involved in a number of events and activities each year to help the community understand that damage prevention is a shared responsibility and an ongoing process-not a finished product.” The NJCGA meets quarterly and for the last five years, has conducted Excavator Safety training sessions throughout the entire state. Atlantic City Electric has worked closely with South Jersey Gas in facilitating the training sessions in our shared service territory.
Paula also looks for opportunities outside the NJCGA to help educate people about this important topic. She attends fire and safety events hosted by local communities, Earth Day events, and opportunities through the Atlantic City Electric External Speakers Bureau.
“I especially enjoy working on the programs and presentations that we give to local schools. The NJCGA has made it an initiative to find ways to start teaching kids early about the importance of damage prevention.”
April has been deemed Call Before You Dig month. Visit call811.com for more information.
Pictured above: Paula out in the community helping to educate students and parents about the importance of electrical safety.