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Leading Practices

CBSA Leading Practices for Cross Bore Safety developmentsLeading Practices by Mark Bruce and Greg Scoby

Discussion of the Consensus Driven Process For Elimination of Existing Cross Bores and Prevention of Future Cross Bores

August 19, 2014

This summary was co-written by Mark Bruce, President of the Cross Bore Safety Association, and Greg Scoby, Cross Bore Safety Association board member.

Leading Practices for Cross Bore Safety Steering Committee

    Greg Scoby                -      CBSA Board Member
    Mark Wallbom           -      CBSA Board Member
    Annmarie Robertson  -     PHMSA

The Leading Practices for Cross Bore Safety committee demonstrates diversity of participation by inviting other stakeholder Associations, Public Agencies and Educators.

Click Here to review initial list of participating organizations.

CBSA Practices for Cross Bore Safety

Discussion of the Consensus Driven Process for Elimination of Existing Cross Bores and Prevention of Future Cross Bores

August 19, 2014

: This summary was co-written by Mark Bruce, President of the Cross Bore Safety Association, and Greg Scoby, Cross Bore Safety Association board member.


The purpose of the Cross Bore Safety Association is to bring people and organizations together to create comprehensive high quality standards, guidelines, best practices, means and methods, courses, training, instructional materials and other related resources for the education and training of owners, installers, regulators, users, inspectors, maintainers and others who can benefit from such so as to minimize the risk for injury, loss of life and property damage from utility cross bores in an effective and efficient manner.

Current Effort
Recently, the CBSA Board identified the need for and has approved the drafting of guidance documents to improve the efficiency, quality and implementation of activities related to creation avoidance and elimination of cross bores. CBSA has contacted several stakeholders to participate in the creation of a Best Practice document to provide underground utility operators, contractors and service providers guidance for minimizing utility conflicts. The involvement includes regulators, equipment manufacturers, academia, national industry trade organizations, consultants and contractors from both Canada and the U.S. Those involved will be given the opportunity to assist in the creation of this document thereby addressing specific issues unique to their respective organization’s goals. All stakeholders are highly encouraged to participate in this effort to create a practice which minimizes the risk associated with trenchless construction.

For further information, please contact the CBSA ( to express your interest in this effort and willingness to participate. The CBSA is currently forming subcommittees and welcomes all participants. Participants are highly encouraged to join the CBSA but membership is not required to participate in this effort if your are a member of a participation organization.

We are adopting a rigorous consensus-driven process following ANSI ( guidelines with high levels of openness and integrity. Drafts of the language will be created within the committee and subcommittees, offered with sample documents and references for review and comment to participating organizations and agencies and then followed by a general public comment opportunity. Received comments that are classified as negatives will be considered following ANSI protocols.
The topics include: purpose, definitions, public outreach, risk assessment, project planning, subsurface utility locating prior to construction, post construction (legacy) verification methods, utility regulator interaction, QA/QC, and data management.

History of the CBSA
The CBSA was formed in 2007 by individuals who recognized the risk associated with the trenchless installation of natural gas systems. The first documented instance of a gas cross bore was noted in 1976 in the form of a Safety Alert1 issued by the National Transportation Safety Board regarding an incident in Kenosha, Wisconsin involving two fatalities. Ironically the property owner did not have gas service. Shortly after the construction of the new gas system an adjacent resident experienced sewer lateral blockage. After an initial attempt to clear the blockage was unsuccessful, a second effort was conducted resulting in the rupture of the gas line which released gas into the sewer lateral. The cause of ignition was not identified. The Safety Alert recommended that the gas company: “Revise its construction standards to require that underground facilities be located accurately before construction and to provide protection for these facilities near boring operations.”

Cross bore risk reduction serves the public, protects the contractor and the utility from potential liability while maintaining the public trust and good will. CBSA is committed to making the process for reducing risk associated with cross bores more effective, efficient and easier to implement.

Additional information

2007 article authored by Jeff Griffins.

OTD Cross Bore Information.

"Best Practices" is
"Leading Practices"

The CBSA Board on 2/11/2015 determined it was appropriate to distinguish the CBSA cross bore practices due to a conflict with the use of the best practices name of another organization's efforts and the opportunity to distinguish this major effort as the Leading Practices for Cross Bore Safety .


If you are interested in reducing risk from cross bores from all types of utilities, this is the best opportunity to get involved. CBSA is creating a "Leading Practices for Cross Bore Safety" document, with involvement from numerous participating organizations and their members to be industry of all underground utility stakeholders Committee formation is now starting.

Contact one of the Steering Committee or Subcommittee Chairpersons below to join the Leading Practices creation effort
Go To Committee Registration.

Read the featured article to the right.   

Leading Practices Steering Committees Formed:

Steering Committee: Greg Scoby,
Mark Wallbom,
Annmarie Robertson

Sub Committees  Chairpersons Named:


Stakeholder Awareness     
Tyler boyes

Mike Kemper

Risk Analysis
Mark Wllbom

Legacy Installations Brian Mattson

Legal, Liability, Access Mark Bruce

Data Management
Joe Purtell

References, Definitions Full committee