A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT REWRITING THE LAWS REGULATING UNDERGROUND UTILITY DAMAGE PREVENTION.
House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. Amends the declaration of policy and purpose to clarify that it is necessary to protect from costly damage underground facilities used for distributing communication, among other items.
Amends GS 87-119 (Costs associated with compliance; effect of permit) to provide that the statute will not affect costs related to the operation of the Notification Center apportioned to an operator.
Amends GS 87-120 (Notification Center; responsibilities) to require the Notification Center to maintain information concerning receipt of notification of proposed excavation and demolition activities as provided in the Article and information received from operators concerning the location of the operators' facilities and the operators' positive responses to marking of the facilities. Provides that the Notification Center is not responsible for identifying or marking facilities for operators. Also provides that the Notification Center is not an agency of the state or any of the state's political subdivisions and is not subject to the provisions of GS Chapters 132 or 133. Amends the definition of Notification Center in GS 87-117 to remove these same provisions from the definition. Also amends GS 87-120 to require each engineering division of the Department of Transportation established under GS 136-14.1 to join the Notification Center by October 1, 2016. Requires all operators who do not meet one of the specified criteria in this statute (was, in the statute and Divisions 1-14 in the Department of Transportation, Transportation Program and Asset management function), to join no later than October 1, 2016.
Makes a clarifying change to GS 87-123.
Amends GS 87-128 to require the Office of the State Fire Marshall to submit a report detailing a violation of the Article by any contract locator, excavator, locator, operator, or other person to the NC Utilities Commission, which must then hold a hearing to determine the severity of the violation and assess a civil penalty.
Enacts new GS 87-129 (and renumbers already proposed GS 87-129 as GS 87-130) to authorize the Office of State Fire Marshall (Office) to receive funds from the US Department of Transportation for the regulation of facilities. Requires operators to pay a fee to the Office to fund investigation of violations, with the fee based on the number of miles of facilities the operator owns, operates, or maintains in the state, not to exceed $1 per mile.
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