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DES MOINES | Attorney General Tom Miller on Monday filed seven lawsuits in six counties over alleged violations of Iowa’s One Call law, including one against a Latimer man.

The suits involve excavations in Linn, Palo Alto, Jasper, Woodbury, Franklin and Pottawattamie counties, and all seven cases involved natural gas lines.

District Court Judge James M. Drew ordered Monday that Roy E. Plagge, of Latimer, pay a $5,000 civil penalty and permanently enjoined Plagge from violating the One Call law.

According to Miller’s lawsuit, on Sept. 22, the defendant conducted an excavation to install drainage tile in rural Franklin County without first contacting the Iowa One Call notification center, failing to provide notice to operators of underground facilities.

During the excavation, the defendant’s tiling equipment hit and damaged a 4-inch diameter natural gas pipeline in two locations. The damage resulted in leaking natural gas but no explosion.

The defendant notified the owner of the pipeline, Northern Natural Gas, of the damage. Northern Natural Gas, the Franklin County Sheriff and the local fire department dispatched emergency response staff to the site. During pipeline repairs, Northern Natural Gas used natural gas bottle trucks to maintain service in Chapin, Rockwell and Sheffield.

Violators of the One Call law are subject to a civil penalty up to $10,000 per day for violations related to natural gas.

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