UNDERGROUND UTILITY SAFETY ACT/CHANGES.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 872 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 16, 2019
AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE UNDERGROUND UTILITY SAFETY AND DAMAGE PREVENTION ACT, INCLUDING AUTHORIZING THE UNDERGROUND DAMAGE PREVENTION REVIEW BOARD TO APPROVE TRAINING COURSES AND TO IMPOSE A FEE ON OPERATORS TO FUND THE ACTIVITIES OF THE BOARD.
Intro. by Arp, Riddell, Holley.

Status: Ch. SL 2019-189 (Aug 1 2019)

SOG comments (1):

Long title change

House committee substitute to the 1st edition changed the long title. Original long title was AN ACT AMENDING THE UNDERGROUND UTILITY SAFETY AND DAMAGE PREVENTION ACT AND AUTHORIZING THE UNDERGROUND DAMAGE PREVENTION REVIEW BOARD TO APPROVE TRAINING COURSES AND TO CHARGE COURSE ATTENDEES A FEE TO OFFSET THE COST OF THE TRAINING COURSES.

Bill History:

H 872/S.L. 2019-189

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Aug 5 2019 - More information

    AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE UNDERGROUND UTILITY SAFETY AND DAMAGE PREVENTION ACT, INCLUDING AUTHORIZING THE UNDERGROUND DAMAGE PREVENTION REVIEW BOARD TO APPROVE TRAINING COURSES AND TO IMPOSE A FEE ON OPERATORS TO FUND THE ACTIVITIES OF THE BOARD. SL 2019-189. Enacted August 1, 2019. Effective October 1, 2019.


  • Summary date: Jun 19 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    Amends GS 87-117 to define the term Board as the Underground Damage Prevention Review Board.

    Amends GS 87-120 as follows. No longer requires the Notification Center to receive, maintain, and provide general administration of reports of alleged violations of Article 8A (Underground Utility Safety and Damage Prevention Act) and responses. Specifically removes the duties to (1) maintain a record of reports of alleged violations for at least four years, including the responses to the reports and (2) notifying the persons against whom reports of alleged violations have been made and receive and maintain information submitted from such persons in defense against the allegations. Adds the following duties: (1) provide aggregate data as required by the Board to assess the operational fee and (2) provide information related to the Notification Center's receipt and transmission of notice reasonably required by the Board in its consideration of reports of alleged violations. Makes conforming deletions.

    Amends GS 87-125 to no longer specify the type of notice that an excavator must give to the Notification Center when performing an emergency excavation or demolition. Provides that a person who falsely claims that an emergency exists requiring an excavation or demolition may be subject to the imposition of penalties or other actions to be taken by the Board under GS 87-129. Removes the provision declaring a person falsely claiming an emergency exists requiring an excavation or demolition under GS 87-122 to have violated the Article. 

    Amends GS 87-127 by amending the ways in which the Notification Center may respond to a design notice for a proposed project, to include designating the location of all facilities owned by the operator within the area designated by the design notice (was, the area of the proposed excavation) as provided in the specified statutes. Further amends the allowable responses to include allowing the person submitting the notice or any other authorized person to inspect the drawing or other records for all facilities within the area designated by the design notice (was, within the proposed area of excavation) at a location acceptable to the operator).

    Amends the membership of the Board as follows. Includes a representative of a municipality, appointed on recommendation by the League of Municipalities (was, a representative recommended by the League of Municipalities); requires the representative from a rural water system to be appointed on the recommendation of the North Carolina Rural Water Association; and requires the representative from a cable company to be appointed on the recommendation of the North Carolina Cable Telecommunications Association. Requires the Board to receive reports of alleged violations of the Article and to contact persons against whom reports have been filed within 10 days. Specifies items the Board must maintain regarding the reports of alleged violations. Requires the Board to approve training courses and the sponsors of those courses. Requires fees for training courses to be paid by the person determined to have violated the Article.  Authorizes the Board to employ contractors or other personnel necessary to carry out the Article. Requires the Board to maintain a record of reports of alleged violations of the Article for four years, including the responses to those reports. Requires the Attorney General's office, upon the Board's request, to assign a legal representative to provide the board with legal counsel. 

    Amends GS 87-129A to provide that the fee the Board is authorized to impose may be an annual fee. Amends the criteria that the fees is to be based on. Makes failure to pay the fee within 30 days a violation of the Article and allows the Board to seek the imposition of a penalty for nonpayment under the specified procedures. Deletes provisions related to the Underground Damage Prevention Review Board Fund.  

    Adds a section providing for the staggering of Board members by setting term expiration dates for members serving on August 1, 2019.


  • Summary date: May 2 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Enacts GS 87-129A to authorize the Underground Damage Prevention Review Board (Board) to impose a fee on operators to cover the activities and operations of the Board in reviewing alleged violations of Article 8A, Underground Utility Safety and Damage Prevention Act. Provides that the fee is to be based on jurisdictional revenues of an operator and be assessed in addition to any cost apportioned to maintain the Notification Center. Restricts the rate to an amount that the total annual proceeds do not exceed $200,000. Creates the Underground Damage Prevention Review Board Fund (Fund) consisting of the deposits of regulatory fees collected under the statute and interest or other income derived from the Fund. Restricts expenditures of monies credited to the Fund to cover costs of the Board's review of alleged violations of Article 8A and pursuant to legislative appropriation. Subjects the Fund to the State Budget Act except that unexpended funds do not revert to the General Fund. 

    Makes conforming changes to the act's long title.


  • Summary date: Apr 18 2019 - More information

    Makes the following changes to Article 8A, Underground Utility Safety and Damage Prevention Act (Act), of GS Chapter 87.

    Adds the term parcel to GS 87-117, and defines the term to mean an extended area of land with fixed boundaries.

    Amends GS 87-121 to require the facility operator to provide to the excavator the operator's identity, marked by stakes or flags as previously required, in the area where the proposed excavation or demolition is to occur. Requires the operator's identity to be marked at the beginning point, at intervals of 200 linear feet, and at the end point of the proposed excavation or demolition. Also requires that if the diameter or width of a facility is greater than 4 inches that the dimensions be indicated at least every 50 (was, 25) feet. 

    Amends GS 87-122 to modify the requirements of the notice excavators are required to give to the Notification Center of his or her intent to excavate or demolish. Requires the notice to include the location of the proposed excavation or demolition by either (1) a single parcel that can exceed 1/4 mile in linear length identified by a single address or (2) the lesser of five adjoining parcels identified by addresses, not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length or an area not to exceed 1/4 mile in linear length. Makes changes to refer to an additional notice (rather than call) to the Notification Center in the event that an excavator is aware of or observes indications of an unmarked facility at the proposed excavation or demolition area. Now prohibits excavators from using mechanized equipment within 24 inches of a facility that is an oil, petroleum products, or highly volatile liquid pipeline system; a gas transmission line; or an electric facility transmission line (was a gas, oil, petroleum, or electric transmission line), unless consent and supervision are provided as specified. Makes conforming changes to the definition provided, referencing definitions found in federal law. 

    Provides that the notice requirements of GS 87-122(a) and (b) do not apply to an excavation or demolition performed when those responsible for routine maintenance of a right-of-way or any other governmental entity are performing, with labor on their permanent payroll, maintenance activities within the right-of-way (previously did not include any governmental entity and did not require labor to be on the permanent payroll of the entity). Now excludes the installation of drainage structures from maintenance activities. Provides that the exemption does not extend to excavation or demolition performed by a contractor acting on behalf of a person or entity responsible for routine maintenance of a right-of-way or on behalf of any other governmental entity. Adds a new, distinct exemption for pavement milling and pavement resurfacing. 

    Amends GS 87-125 concerning notice in the case of emergency excavation or demolition. Now requires written rather than oral notice to the Notification Center as previously specified. Deems any person who falsely claims that an emergency exists requiring an excavation or demolition to have violated the Act, in addition to the existing punishment as a Class 3 misdemeanor. Adds that any person who falsely claims an emergency exists requiring an excavation or demolition under GS 87-122 to have violated the Act.

    Amends GS 87-129 to now require the member of the Underground Damage Prevention Review Board (Board) who is the representative from a rural water system to be recommended by the NC Rural Water Association. Now charges the Board with approving training courses and course sponsors for courses included in disciplinary action, and places costs of the training courses upon the person determined to have violated the Article.

    Effective October 1, 2019. 


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