(a) Each person responsible for any excavation or demolition operation that results in any damage to an underground facility, immediately upon discovery of such damage, shall notify the operator of such facility of the location of the damage or the One-Call Notification System operating on behalf of the underground facility owner and shall allow the operator reasonable time to accomplish any necessary repairs before completing the excavation or demolition in the immediate area of the damage to such facility.

Terms Used In Alabama Code 37-15-9

  • 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
  • Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
  • NEAR MISS: An event where damage did not occur, but a clear potential for damage was identified. 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
  • property: includes both real and personal property. 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
  • year: means a calendar year; but, whenever the word "year" is used in reference to any appropriations for the payment of money out of the treasury, it shall mean fiscal year. See Alabama Code 1-1-1

(b) In addition to subsection (a), each person responsible for any excavation or demolition shall immediately report to the operator or the One-Call Notification System operating on behalf of the underground facility owner and appropriate law enforcement agencies and fire departments any damage to an underground facility that results in escaping flammable, corrosive, explosive, or toxic liquids or gas and shall take reasonable actions necessary to protect persons or property and to minimize safety hazards until those law enforcement agencies and fire departments and the operator arrive at the underground facility.

(c) If an event damages any pipe, cable, or its protective covering, or other underground facility, or there is a significant near miss that could have resulted in damage, the operator receiving the notice shall file a report with the One-Call Notification System. Reports must be submitted annually to the system, no later than March 31 for the prior calendar year, or more frequently at the option and sole discretion of the operator. Each report must describe, if known, the cause, nature, and location of the damage. The One-Call Notification System shall establish and maintain a process to facilitate submission of reports by operators or persons excavating.

(Acts 1994, No. 94-487, p. 911, §9; Act 2014-220, p. 691, §1; Act 2019-407, §1.)