SCS/SB 904 - This act modifies provisions pertaining to the Underground Facility Safety and Damage Prevention Act.
Under current law, gas distribution lines, electric lines, telecommunications facilities, cable t.v. facilities, water lines, storm drainage, and sewer lines located on private property and owned by the landowner are not considered "underground facilities" for purposes of the Underground Facility Safety and Damage Prevention Act. This act modifies this definition by requiring that if any of the above-mentioned lines are used for vehicular traffic control, the lighting of streets and highways, or communications for emergency response, they shall be considered an "underground facility." The lines shall also be considered an "underground facility" if they cross or lie within a public easement, public right-of-way, or another person's property.
Under current law, persons who own or operate underground pipeline facilities are deemed to comply with requirements to identify excavators in their pipeline areas if, among other things, the notification center maintains a list of all excavators who gave notice of intent to excavate during the previous five years. The act reduces the required timeframe from the previous five years to just the previous year.
The act requires that, as part of the process to request the locating of underground facilities, the notification center shall ask excavators to identify if the proposed excavation will be on public right-of-way or easement for public vehicular traffic use.
The act removes the requirement that an excavator shall mark the excavation location for certain excavations when the underground facility owner notifies the excavator that the excavation location cannot be determined from the information provided.
Currently, when an excavator receives notification from an underground facility owner or operator that the location of the excavation cannot be determined by the information provided, the excavator can provide project plans to the owner or operator or meet in person on-site. The act also allows an excavator to mark the excavation location. The act removes the exception to this provision for owners of residential property conducting excavations on such property.
The act adds via fax and the internet as methods by which an excavator may inform the notification center of his or her intent to excavate.
The act modifies the information required in a notice of intent to excavate by removing the requirement that the address and fax number be provided for the person filing the intent, if such person is not the excavator. A fax number, email address, and cell phone number for the excavator shall be provided if any exist. The same contact information shall be provided for the person responsible for the excavation, if this person is not the excavator. Location descriptions can be provided using proximity to the nearest numbered, lettered, or named state, county or city road, or by latitude and longitude in degrees, minutes, and seconds, or by state plane coordinates, which are defined in the act.
The act removes the current law that requires the notification center's records of all notices of intent to excavate to be in written form and allows electronic records to be considered official records as well. The act also requires as part of the record of a notice of intent to excavate that the record list all the underground facility owners who were notified of such excavation.
The act allows design requests to be made through the notification center. Any such design request shall provide the same information as what is required for a notice of intent to excavate and the notification center shall treat a design request in a manner similar to a notice of intent to excavate. Underground facility owners who receive notification of a design request shall either mark the pipeline location or else contact the person making the design request within 5 working days of receiving the notification. Making a design request does not relieve any person from submitting a notice of intent to excavate to the notification center for the actual excavation work.
The act modifies the time period in which an underground facility owner must contact the excavator in response to a notice of intent to excavate. Current law requires the underground facility owner to contact the excavator within 2 working days of receiving the notice, but the act modifies the time period to within 2 working days beginning at 12 a.m. following receipt of the request by the notification center.
The act modifies the ways in which an owner or operator of an underground facility may contact an excavator to inform him or her that no facilities are in the area of excavation. The act allows such person to call the "responsible person" if such person is not the same as the excavator, in addition to using email or cell phone numbers to reach the excavator. The act provides that if the only means of contact for the facility owner or operator to reach the excavator is via telephone, two attempts to reach the excavator shall constitute compliance.
The act requires an owner or operator of an underground facility who did not respond as required to an excavator's original notice of intent to excavate, to respond within 2 hours of receiving a second notice, or by 10 a.m. the next business day in certain circumstances.
Railroads regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration shall not be required to file notices of intent to excavate when the excavating will be done entirely on land owned by the railroad.
The act specifies that the current damage reporting requirements for excavators also apply to any damage caused by excavators to protective devices for underground facilities.
Owners or operators of underground facilities shall respond to a notice of an emergency within two hours of receiving such a notice. Excavators may be liable for costs associated with compliance by the owner or operator with this provision if the situation is not actually an emergency situation as defined.
The act repeals Section 319.036, RSMo, regarding exemptions to the excavation notification requirements for agricultural property.
The act contains an effective date of January 1, 2009.
This act is similar to provisions in SS/SCS/HCS/HB 1779 (2008).