(a)(1) Each operator served with notice in accordance with Section 37-15-4, with underground facilities in the area, shall mark or cause to be marked or otherwise provide the approximate location of the operator’s underground facilities by marking in a manner as prescribed herein prior to the proposed start of excavation, demolition, or blasting. If any underground facilities become damaged due to an operator furnishing inaccurate information as to the approximate location of the facilities, through no fault of the operator, then the civil liabilities imposed by this chapter do not apply.
Terms Used In Alabama Code 37-15-6
- 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. See Alabama Code 37-15-2
- 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
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- 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
- Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
- 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. See Alabama Code 37-15-2
- 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
- POSITIVE RESPONSE: The communication among member operators, persons excavating, and the "One-Call Notification System" concerning the status of locating an underground facility. See Alabama Code 37-15-2
- 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
(2) In lieu of such marking, the operator may request to be present at the site upon commencement of the excavation, demolition, or blasting.
(3) A member operator that states that it does not have accurate information concerning the exact location of its underground facilities is exempt from the requirements of this section, but shall provide the best available information to the person excavating in order to comply with the requirements of this section. A person excavating is not liable for any damage to an underground facility under the exemption in this subdivision if the excavation or demolition is performed with reasonable care as noted in Section 37-15-8 and the excavator uses detection equipment or other acceptable means to determine the location of the underground facilities.
(4) When an excavator encounters an unmarked underground facility on an excavation site where notice of intent to excavate has been made in accordance with the provisions of Section 37-15-4, and attempts a follow-up or second notice relative to revising the original notice to the One-Call Notification System or the operator, all operators thus notified must attempt to contact the excavator within four hours and provide a response relative to any of their known underground facilities, active or abandoned, at the site of the excavation.
(b) When marking the approximate location of underground facilities, the operator shall follow the color code designation in accordance with the latest edition of the American Public Works Association Uniform Color Code.
(c) The color code designation referenced in this section shall not be used by any operator or person to mark the boundary or location of any excavation or demolition area. If the excavator elects to mark the proposed excavation or demolition site, the boundary or location shall be identified using white as the identifying color or with natural color wood stakes. White flags or white stakes may have a thin stripe, one inch or less of the designated color code, to indicate the excavator’s proposed type of facility, if applicable.
(d) Each operator, upon determining that no underground facility is present on the tract or parcel of land or upon completion of the marking of the location of any underground facilities on the tract or parcel of land, shall provide a positive response with information to the One-Call Notification System in accordance with the procedures developed by the One-Call Notification System.
(e) The requirement for providing a positive response shall become effective January 1, 2021.
(f) Any contract locator acting on behalf of an operator is subject to this section.