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.
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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