(a) A permit issued pursuant to law authorizing excavation or demolition operations shall not be deemed to relieve a person from the responsibility for complying with this chapter. Any public agency issuing such permit shall notify the person receiving the permit of the notification requirements of this chapter; however, failure to provide such notification shall not make the State Department of Transportation subject to the penalties provided for in Section 37-15-10.

Terms Used In Alabama Code 37-15-4

  • blasting: The use of an explosive device for the excavation of earth, rock, or other material or the demolition of a structure. See Alabama Code 37-15-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 37-15-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 37-15-2
  • excavator: Any person who engages in excavation. See Alabama Code 37-15-2
  • following: means next after. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • 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. See Alabama Code 37-15-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 37-15-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 37-15-2
  • property: includes both real and personal property. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • state: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • 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. See Alabama Code 37-15-2

(b) Before commencing any excavation or demolition operation prohibited by Section 37-15-3, each person responsible for the excavation or demolition shall give telephonic or electronic notice of the intent to excavate or demolish to the underground facility operator or the “One-Call Notification System” acting on behalf of the operator at least two but not more than 10 working days prior to the start of the proposed excavation, not including the day of notification, and at least two working days but not more than 30 calendar days, not including the day of notification, prior to the start of demolition or any blasting operations for either excavation or demolition.

(c) The notice required by subsection (b) must contain the name, address, and telephone number of the person responsible for the excavation or the demolition and the person giving notice, the proposed starting date and time, the type of excavation or demolition operation to be conducted, the location of the proposed excavation or demolition with sufficient details to enable the operator to locate same with reasonable certainty, and whether or not explosives are to be used. In the event the location requirements of this subsection cannot be met, the excavator shall premark the route or boundaries of the site of proposed excavation or demolition by means of white as the identifying color on stakes, flags, paint, buoys, or clearly identifiable materials placed on the surface of the ground or water prior to the notification to the One-Call Notification System. However, premarking is not required when the premarking could reasonably interfere with traffic or pedestrian control.

(d) Notification to the One-Call Notification System of an intent to excavate shall be valid for a period of 20 working days from the proposed starting date given for excavation and the notice to demolish shall be valid for a period of 30 working days from the starting date given. Each person responsible for excavation or demolition shall renew with the One-Call Notification System each notice of intent to excavate or demolish at least two working days, not counting the day of notification, prior to the expiration date of the notice if the excavation or demolition has not been completed.

(e) When engaged in an extensive and contiguous construction, demolition, or excavation activity, working agreements may be established to accomplish the intent and purpose of this chapter between operators, public agencies, and contractors after initial compliance with the notification provisions of this chapter.

(f) Compliance with the notice requirements of this section is not required of persons plowing less than 12 inches in depth for agricultural purposes.

(g) Compliance with the notice requirements of this section is not required by persons or operators excavating on their own property or easement when no other persons or operators have underground facilities on the property or easement.

(h) Except for those persons submitting design or survey locate requests, no person, including an operator, shall request markings of a site through the One-Call Notification System that meets the operational requirements as described in subsection (a) of Section 37-15-5, unless excavation is scheduled to commence. In addition, no person shall make repeated requests for remarking, unless the repeated request is required for excavating to continue or due to circumstances not reasonably within the control of the person.

(i) Any person who complies with the notification requirements of this chapter is not liable for damage to an operator’s underground facility if all of the following are satisfied:

(1) The operator received the notification required by this section.

(2) The operator failed to locate its underground facilities as required by Section 37-15-6.

(3) The damage is a proximate result of the operator’s failure to locate its underground facilities as required by Section 37-15-6.

(Acts 1994, No. 94-487, p. 911, §4; Acts 1996, No. 96-666, p. 1127, §1; Act 2014-220, p. 691, §1; Act 2019-407, §1.)