In addition to the notification requirements of Section 37-15-4, each person responsible for an excavation or demolition operation designated in Section 37-15-3, when performing excavation or demolition within the tolerance zone, shall do all of the following to avoid damage to or minimize interference with the underground facilities:

Terms Used In Alabama Code 37-15-8

  • 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
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • 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
  • following: means next after. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • 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. 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
  • 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. 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

(1) Determine the location of any marked underground facility utilizing noninvasive methods of excavation. For parallel type excavations, the existing facility shall be exposed at intervals as often as necessary to avoid damages.

(2) Maintain a clearance of at least 18 inches between any underground facility and the cutting edge or point of mechanized equipment.

(3) Provide such support for underground facilities in and near a construction area, including backfill operations, as may be reasonably required by the operator for the protection of the utilities.

(4) Protect and preserve the markings of approximate locations of underground facilities until those markings are no longer required for proper and safe excavation or demolition.

(Acts 1994, No. 94-487, p. 911, §8; Act 2014-220, p. 691, §1.)