2022 Code of Alabama
Title 37 - Public Utilities and Public Transportation.
Chapter 15 - Notification of Excavation or Demolition Operations.
Section 37-15-2 - Definitions.

Universal Citation: AL Code § 37-15-2 (2022)

Section 37-15-2


As used in this chapter the following words have the following meanings:

(1) APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF UNDERGROUND FACILITIES. Information about an operator's underground facilities which is provided to a person by an operator and must be accurate to within 18 inches measured horizontally from the outside edge of each side of such operator's facility, or a strip of land 18 inches either side of the operator's field mark or the marked width of the facility plus 18 inches on each side of the marked width of the facility.

(2) AUTHORITY. The Underground Damage Prevention Authority created under Section 37-15-10.1.

(3) AUTHORITY BOARD. The Underground Damage Prevention Board created under Section 37-15-10.1.

(4) BLASTING. The use of an explosive device for the excavation of earth, rock, or other material or the demolition of a structure.

(5) CONTRACT LOCATOR. Any person contracted with an operator specifically to determine and mark the approximate location of the operator's utility lines that exist within the area specified by a notice served on the "One-Call Notification System."

(6) DAMAGE. Includes, but is not limited to, the substantial weakening of structural or lateral support of an underground facility, penetration or destruction of any underground facility's protective coating, housing, or other protective device, and the severance (partial or complete) of any underground facility, but does not apply to any operator's abandoned underground facility.

(7) DEMOLITION. Any operation by which a structure or mass of material is wrecked, razed, rendered, moved, or removed by means of any tools, equipment, or explosives.

(8) DESIGN OR SURVEY LOCATE REQUEST. Any communication to the "One-Call Notification System", specifically to request existing underground facilities to be located for bidding, predesign, or advance planning purposes. A design locate request may not be used for excavation purposes and an excavation locate request may not be used for design or survey purposes.

(9) EMERGENCY EXCAVATION OR DEMOLITION. An excavation or demolition that is required to eliminate an imminent danger to life, health, property, or the environment or required for the repair or restoration of operator service that is required to be performed before the notification and response procedures required in Section 37-15-4 and 37-15-6 may be fully utilized.

(10) EXCAVATE or EXCAVATION. Any operation for the purpose of the movement or removal of earth, rock, or other material by mechanized equipment or explosive device and includes, but is not limited to, augering, backfilling, blasting, boring, digging, ditching, drilling, grading, pile-driving, plowing-in, pulling-in, ripping, scraping, sub-soiling, trenching, and tunneling. Excavate or excavation does not include routine roadway maintenance activities carried out by or for those responsible for publicly-maintained roadways, provided that the activities occur entirely within the right-of-way of a public road, street, or highway; are carried out with reasonable care so as to protect any utility facilities placed in the right-of-way by permit; are carried out within the limits of any original excavation on the traveled way, shoulder, or drainage ditches of a public road, street, or highway; and, if involving the replacement of existing structures, including traffic control devices, replace such structures in their approximate previous locations and at their approximate previous depth. Excavate or excavation does not include routine railroad maintenance activities conducted within the track structure and its adjacent right-of-way, provided the activities are performed by railroad employees or railroad contractors and are carried out with reasonable care so as to protect any underground facilities placed in the railroad right-of-way by agreement with the railroad. Nothing in this chapter shall modify or abrogate any contractual provision entered into between any railroad and any other party owning or operating an underground facility or underground utility lines within the railroad's right-of-way.

(11) EXCAVATOR. Any person who engages in excavation.

(12) EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. The executive committee created under Section 37-15-10.1.

(13) IMPLIED EASEMENT. Any unwritten easement or right-of-way on private property required to provide utility or other services by means of underground facilities on property of the owner requesting such service.

(14) MARK or MARKING. The use of stakes, flags, paint, buoys, or clearly identifiable materials placed on the surface of the ground or water to show the approximate location of underground facilities.

(15) MECHANIZED EQUIPMENT. Equipment powered or energized by any motor, engine, hydraulic, or pneumatic device and is used for excavation or demolition work including, but not limited to, tractors, trenchers, bulldozers, power shovels, augers, backhoes, scrapers, pile drivers, drills, cable and pipe plows, or other equipment used for plowing-in or pulling-in cable or pipe.

(16) MEMBER. A person who participates in the "One-Call Notification System" to receive services and is in good standing with the "One-Call Notification System" in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the corporation's bylaws.

(17) NEAR MISS. An event where damage did not occur, but a clear potential for damage was identified.

(18) NONINVASIVE METHOD OF EXCAVATION. A method of excavation that does not compromise the integrity of the underground facility. These methods include, but are not limited to, hand digging, pot holing, soft digging, vacuum excavation methods, or other methods approved by the operator.

(19) NOTIFICATION AREA. An area or territory which an operator designates as the area where the operator wishes to receive notifications for any excavation in that area. The notification area should encompass the underground distribution system or network of the operator.

(20) ONE-CALL NOTIFICATION SYSTEM. A non-profit corporation, a public corporation, or a governmental entity which will provide a statewide notification service, for the purpose of receiving statewide telephonic toll-free or electronic notification of any planned excavation or demolition activities by excavators or other persons as set forth in Section 37-15-4 and distributing the required excavation or demolition information to its affected member operators as set forth in Section 37-15-5.

(21) OPERATOR. Any person, governmental agency, or political subdivision, or its agents, who owns or operates a public or private underground facility which furnishes services, information, or materials, or transports or transmits electric energy, light, water, steam, oil, gases, gas, mixture of gases, petroleum, petroleum products, hazardous or flammable liquids, toxic or corrosive fluids and gases, or items of like nature, and telecommunications, cable television, water, drainage, sewage, or other systems of like nature. The term operator does not apply to any entity listed above if all of the underground facilities owned and operated by the entity are for the sole use of the entity and are located solely on the entity's own property or on property over which the entity has rights of operation.

(22) PERSON. An individual, joint venture, partnership, association, authority, cooperative, firm, corporation, governmental entity, or any subdivision or instrumentality of that entity and its employees, agents, or legal representatives.

(23) POSITIVE RESPONSE. The communication among member operators, persons excavating, and the "One-Call Notification System" concerning the status of locating an underground facility.

(24) PREMARK. To delineate the general scope of the excavation on the surface of the ground using white paint, white stakes, or other similar white markings.

(25) ROUTINE ROADWAY MAINTENANCE. Maintenance work on a roadway that is not done pursuant to a contract awarded by a state or local government through a bid process for which plan drawings have been developed in advance or work for which detailed and specific scheduling is not possible or feasible.

(26) TOLERANCE ZONE. The width of the underground facility plus 18 inches on either side of the outside edge of the underground facility on a horizontal plane.

(27) UNDERGROUND FACILITY. Any cable, pipeline, duct, wire, conduit, or other similar installation, installed underground or underwater, by which an operator transports or delivers materials, information, or services.

(28) WILLFUL NONCOMPLIANCE. The intentional refusal or failure to perform, or comply with, a duty created or imposed by this chapter or by the rules adopted pursuant to this chapter.

(29) WORKING DAY. A 24-hour period commencing the beginning of the start of the next working day from the time of receipt of the notification, excluding Saturday, Sunday, and the following nine holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day (observed), Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. When any of these holidays occur on a Saturday, it will be observed on the preceding Friday and when any of these holidays occur on a Sunday, it will be observed on the following Monday.

(30) WORKING DAY HOURS. The time from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time on working days.

(Acts 1994, No. 94-487, p. 911, §2; Act 2012-504, p. 1483, §1; Act 2014-220, p. 691, §1; Act 2015-363, p. 1129, §1; Act 2019-407, §1.)

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