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Contractor in Sun Prairie explosion fined $27,500

MADISON (WKOW) — On Thursday, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin unanimously voted to fine a contractor involved a July 2018 Sun Prairie explosion $27,500.

The PSC said VC Tech Inc. violated Wisconsin’s “One Call” law when its workers failed to request utility locating and marking before beginning excavation work in downtown Sun Prairie on July 10, 2018.

The resulting explosion killed firefighter Capt. Cory Barr and injured two others.

“The requirements related to utility locating and marking prior to digging or excavating are in place in order to try and prevent exactly what happened in Sun Prairie a year ago,” said Commission Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq. “Let this be a warning to all parties involved in the practice of excavation that we view the “One Call” law as a vital matter of public safety.”

The fine is comprised of a $25,000 forfeiture and an additional $2,500 payout to the “One Call” system. The company must attend an educational course, the PSC said.

Under Wisconsin law, according to the PSC, an excavator is required to have underground utilities located and marked before beginning work.  Wisconsin’s “One Call” system allows excavators to arrange for the locating and marking of those utilities.

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