Consumers Energy Faces Probe for Violating Safety Practices in Michigan

The Michigan Public Service Commission found that Consumers Energy Co. did not act in a timely manner to mark natural gas and electrical lines after receiving notices of excavation plans in over 20,000 instances, according to a June 7 press release. The findings were based on the commission staff’s tracking of the company’s responses to requests during April and May.

Response statistics from “MISS DIG 811,” a public safety program to prevent accidental damages of underground utility facilities while digging, also showed that Consumers Energy only partially responded to many notices. The notification system issues a dig ticket after receiving a notice from an excavator. The commission rules require facility owners or operators to respond to a notification by the start date and time for the activity by marking their facilities in the area of the planned excavation or blasting.

Considering the “large volume of Consumers Energy’s apparent unresponsiveness” to notice requests over the past two months, the agency ordered the company to show cause why it should not be found in violation of Act 174 of 2013, which requires facility owners or operators, after proper notice, to respond to a MISS DIG request before a project commences.

The company must respond to the commission’s findings by June 28.

Consumers Energy is a subsidiary of CMS Energy Corp.