Q: What is CGA?

A: CGA is a member-driven association of 1,700 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the leading organization in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders.

Q: How did CGA start?

A: Officially formed in 2000, the CGA represents a continuation of the damage prevention efforts embodied by the Common Ground Study . Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and completed in 1999, this Study represents the collaborative work of 160 industry professionals who identified best practices relating to damage prevention.

The CGA provides today’s optimal forum where stakeholders can share information and perspectives and work together on all aspects of damage prevention issues. This allows the achievement of results that would otherwise be impossible. The CGA is working with industry stakeholders and regulators to produce stronger, more effective results through partnership, collaboration, and the pursuit of common goals in damage prevention.

Q: Which industries do CGA members represent?

A: CGA welcomes all stakeholders who would like to be a part of the identification and promotion of best practices that lead to a reduction in damage. Any “best practices,” endorsed by the CGA come with consensus support from experts representing the following stakeholder groups: Excavators, Locators, Road Builders, Electric, Telecommunications, Oil, Gas Distribution, Gas Transmission, Railroad, One Call, Public Works, Equipment Manufacturing, State Regulators, Insurance, Emergency Services and Engineering/Design.

Q: What is CGA’s mission as a nonprofit organization?

A: The CGA works cooperatively, fostering a sense of shared responsibility to enhance safety and protect underground facilities by:

  • Identifying and disseminating the stakeholder best practices;
  • Developing and conducting public awareness and education programs;
  • Sharing and disseminating damage prevention tools and technology; and
  • Serving as the premier resource for damage and one call center data collection, analysis and dissemination.

Q: What are some of CGA’s key programs?

A: The business and activities of the CGA are managed by the Board of Directors. Each stakeholder group within the CGA is represented by a Director on the CGA Board. There are currently 20 Board members. In addition to its Board of Directors, the CGA is comprised of 7 working committees:

  1. Best Practices
  2. Technology
  3. Data Reporting & Evaluation
  4. “Call 811” – Educational Programs & Marketing
  5. One Call Systems International
  6. Regional Partners
  7. Stakeholder Advocacy

Q: Does CGA publish papers or studies about utility damage prevention and safety?

A: CGA publishes two key pieces every year – the Best Practices guide in the spring and Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report in the fall. Please review these reports, along with a fact sheet about one of CGA’s programs, the “Call 811 before you dig” campaign.

Q: How is CGA funded?

A: CGA is funded by more than 70 sponsors, nearly 200 corporate members and more than 1,700 individual participants. For a full list of sponsors, please click

Best Practices Guide