New / Proposed Legislation

Changes to Rhode Island "Dig Safe Law" effective June 30, 2017

2017 -- S 0552 SUBSTITUTE  A

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S T A T E      O F     R H O D E      I S L A N D






A N    A  C T






Introduced By:  Senator  P Fogarty

Date  Introduced: March 15, 2017

Referred  To: Senate Commerce




It is  enacted by the  General Assembly as follows:


1                                    SECTION  1.  Sections  39-1.2-1, 39-1.2-5  and 39-1.2-11  of  the  General Laws  in Chapter


2            39-1.2  entitled  "Excavation  Near  Underground  Utility  Facilities"  are  hereby amended  to read  as


3            follows:


4                                    39-1.2-1.  Definitions.


5                                    As used in this  chapter:


6                                    (1)   "Administrator"   means   the    administrator    of   the    division    of   public    utilities and


7            carriers.


8                                    (2)  "Approximate  location  of  underground  facilities"  means  strip  of  land  extending not


9            more  than one  and one-half (1 1/2) feet on either side  of the  underground  facilities.


10                                   (3)  "Association"  means  the  group  of  public   utilities  formed  pursuant  to  §  39-1.2-4 for


11           the purpose of receiving  and giving   notice  of excavation  activity  within  the  state.


12                                   (4)   "Damage"  means   and  includes   but   is   not  limited   to  the  substantial  weakening of


13           structural   or   lateral   support   of   a   utility   line,   penetration,   or   destruction   of   any  utility line


14           protective  coating,  housing,  or  other  protective  device  or the  severance, partial or complete of any


15           utility   line.


16                                   (5)   "Demolition"   means   the   wrecking,   razing,   rending,   moving,   or   removing   of any


17           structure.


18                                   (6)  "Excavation"  means  an  operation  for  the  purpose  of  movement  or  removal of earth,


19           rock,  or  other  materials  in  or  on the  ground, or  otherwise  disturbing the  subsurface of  the  earth,

1            by  the   use   of  powered  or  mechanized  equipment,  including  but  not  limited  to  digging, blasting,


2            auguring,   back  filling,   test   boring,   drilling,   pile   driving,  grading,  plowing   in,  hammering, pulling


3            in,   trenching,  and  tunneling;   excluding   the   movement   of   earth  by  tools   manipulated   only by


4            human  or animal power and the  tilling   of soil  for agricultural  purposes.


5                                    (7) "Governing   authority"  means  the  permit  issuing authority.


6                                    (8)  "Person"  means  an  individual,  partnership, corporation,  association,  or  public utility,


7            including   a person engaged as a contractor by a public agency and including a public  agency.


8                                    (9)  "Public   agency"  means  the   state  or  any  political  subdivision   thereof,  including any


9            governmental  agency.


10                                   (10)  "Public  utility"  means  the  owner  or  operator  of  underground  facilities  for furnishing


11           electric,  gas, telephone,  or  water  service  as  defined in §  39-1-2(20); and also means and includes,


12           for  the   purposes   of   this  chapter  only,  electric  transmission  companies  and  nonregulated power


13           producers,  as   defined   in   §  39-1-2(13)  and  (19);  any  cable   television  service;  and  any water


14           company which  voluntarily   becomes  member  of the  association provided for under  § 39-1.2-4.


15                                   (11)   "Public   utility   facilities"  means  the   underground  plant   and  equipment   owned and


16           operated  by  public   utility  for  the  purpose  of  furnishing  electricity,  gas,  water,  cable television


17           or  telephone  service;  including  the  underground  plant  and equipment  owned  and operated by any


18           water company, not  subject  to regulation  by the  administrator  of  the  division  of  the  public utilities


19           which   voluntarily   joins    the   association   provided   for   under   §   39-1.2-4.   Utility   facilities shall


20           include   active, newly  installed  and inactive  or  abandoned,  utility  facilities.


21                                   (12)   "Abandoned  utility   facilities"  means   any  known  underground  or   submerged utility


22           line   or   facility   that   has  been  permanently  taken  out   of  service.  For   excavation  purposes the


23           abandoned underground  utility   facilities  should  always  be  considered to be  active  utility service.


24                                   (13)  "Inactive  utility  facilities"  means  any  underground  or  submerged  utility  facilities line


25           or  facility  that  has  been temporarily  taken out  of  service  with the  expectation of becoming usable


26           in  the future.


27                                   (14)  "Immediate  danger  to  life  and  health"  means  likely  to cause  death or  immediate or


28           delayed permanent adverse  health effects  or  prevent escape  from such an environment.


29                                   39-1.2-5.  Notice  of excavation.


30                                   (a)   Except   as   provided   in   §   39-1.2-9,   any  person,   public   agency,   or   public  utility


31           responsible   for  excavating  within   one   hundred  feet  (100')   or   for  discharging  explosives within


32           one   hundred  feet  (100')  of  public   utility   facility  shall  notify  the   association  of  the  proposed


33           excavation   or   discharge   at  least   seventy-two  (72)   hours,  excluding   Saturdays,  Sundays,  and


34           holidays,  but  not  more  than  thirty  (30)  days  before  commencing  the  excavation  or  discharge of

1            explosives.    Actual   excavation   must   thereupon   commence    within    thirty   (30)   days    and be


2            completed  within   sixty   (60)   days,  including  Saturdays,  Sundays,  and  holidays,  or  the excavator


3            must  renotify  the  associationEach public  utility  shall,  upon  receipt  of  each notice  of

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