Utilities, excavators and the public are all affected by a new call-before-you-dig law that includes more rigorous enforcement, mandatory damage reporting and higher penalties.

The intent of the law is to improve communication between utilities and excavators/homeowners and decrease damage to underground utilities. The new law requires excavators to:

  • outline the proposed dig in white paint prior to calling for a locate;
  • make arrangements with the affected utilities when projects exceed 700 linear feet; and
  • maintain locate marks for 45 days, after which a new locate must be requested.

Excavators and utilities must report to the UTC any damage to underground facilities within 45 days. Previously, only damage to regulated natural gas and hazardous liquids had to be reported.   A party that fails to request a locate and damages a liquid or gas transmission pipeline will be subject to a $10,000 penalty and may be found guilty of a misdemeanor.

Always CALL 811 before you dig.

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