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.
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.
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