2021 Code of Alabama
Title 37 - Public Utilities and Public Transportation.
Chapter 15 - Notification of Excavation or Demolition Operations.
Section 37-15-5 - Underground Damage Prevention Program.

Universal Citation: AL Code § 37-15-5 (2021)

Section 37-15-5

Underground damage prevention program.

(a) Until January 1, 2027:

(1) Operators who have underground facilities within this state shall participate in and utilize the services of the One-Call Notification System.

(2) Operators that are members of the One-Call Notification System on January 1, 2020, must remain members.

(3) Operators with more than 25,000 customers or 500 miles of facilities, that are not members, must join the One-Call Notification System by January 1, 2021.

(4) Operators that do not meet the thresholds described in subdivision (2) or (3), must join the One-Call Notification System by January 1, 2022.

(5) Operators of electrical underground facilities that join the One-Call Notification System under the requirements of subdivision (3) or (4) having less than five percent underground trench miles compared to the total miles of line, are not subject to the membership costs until their underground trench miles exceed the trench mile exemption. These operators shall be required to report annually to the One-Call Notification System their percentage of underground trench miles by the end of each calendar year.

(6) If an operator of an underground facility fails to become a member of the One-Call Notification System, as required by this chapter, and that failure is a cause of damage to that underground facility caused by a person who has complied with this chapter and has exercised reasonable care in the performance of the excavations that has caused damage to the underground facility, the operator has no right of recovery against the person for the damage to that underground facility.

(b) Between April 18, 1994, and January 1, 1995, or any time thereafter, any non-profit corporation, public corporation, or governmental entity desiring to become the One-Call Notification System shall apply to the Alabama Public Service Commission for a certificate of public convenience and necessity, verifying under oath that the applicant meets the requirements of this chapter. After a public hearing on the application, if the Alabama Public Service Commission deems that the applicant meets the requirements of this chapter, and if it is found that the applicant is fit, willing, and able to properly perform the services proposed and that the proposed service is or will be required by the present or future public convenience or necessity, then in such event the Alabama Public Service Commission may issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing the applicant to commence its operation as the One-Call Notification System. The Alabama Public Service Commission shall revoke a certificate if the non-profit corporation, public corporation, or governmental entity ceases to meet the requirements as set forth in this chapter. The One-Call Notification System must provide a report of operations and financial review or audit to the Public Service Commission annually.

(c) Subject to subsections (a) and (b), there shall be a statewide One-Call Notification System in accordance with this chapter to provide notice of all excavation or demolition near underground facilities.

(d) The One-Call Notification System shall be incorporated or operated as a non-profit corporation and governed by a board of directors representing its membership in accordance with the One-Call Notification System bylaws.

(e) Operators of underground natural gas or hazardous liquid pipeline facilities or the One-Call Notification System acting on their behalf shall develop and implement a public awareness and damage prevention program to educate the general public, excavators, and operators about the availability and use of the One-Call Notification System as required in applicable federal regulations and the requirements of this chapter.

(f) The person giving notice of intent to excavate or demolish shall be furnished an individual reference file number for each notification and upon request shall be furnished the names of the operators to whom the notification will be transmitted.

(g) An adequate record of notifications shall be maintained by the underground facility operator or the One-Call Notification System in order to document timely compliance with this chapter. These records shall be retained for a period of not less than three years and shall be made available at a reasonable cost upon proper and adequate advance request.

(h) The services of the One-Call Notification System should be provided on working days in accordance with the established working day hours.

(i) The One-Call Notification System should voice record the notification telephone calls and after hours calls should at least reach a voice recording which explains emergency procedures.

(j) All members of the One-Call Notification System shall provide the One-Call Notification System with the following information:

(1) The notification area data in a format as required by the current database system utilized by the One-Call Notification System for the locations in which members have underground facilities or for other reasons wish to receive notifications of proposed excavations, demolitions, or blasting. This information shall be updated at least once a year.

(2) The name, address, and telephone number of a person to receive emergency notifications.

(k) The One-Call Notification System shall promptly transmit the information received from the excavator, as set forth in Section 37-15-4, to its appropriate member operators.

(l) All members of the One-Call Notification System who have changes, additions, or new installations of buried facilities within the boundaries of the State of Alabama shall notify the One-Call Notification System of changes in the information required in subdivision (1) of subsection (j), within 30 days of the completion of such change, addition, or new installation.

(Acts 1994, No. 94-487, p. 911, §5; Act 2012-504, p. 1483, §1; Act 2014-220, p. 691, §1; Act 2019-407, §1.)

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