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H.841

Introduced by   Committee on Commerce

Date:

Subject:  Public service; underground utility damage prevention system

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to amend the Digsafe and pipeline safety statutes to clarify for what period of time markings are valid, to clarify the operating responsibility for underground facilities, and to update the penalties to be in accord with other states.

AN ACT RELATING TO UNDERGROUND UTILITY DAMAGE PREVENTION SYSTEM

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  30 V.S.A. § 7004(e) is added to read:

(e)  Notice of excavation activities shall be valid for an excavation site until one of the following events occurs:

(1)  The excavation is not completed within 30 days of the notification;

(2)  The markings become faded, illegible, or destroyed; or

(3)  The company installs new underground facilities in a marked area still under excavation.


Sec. 2.  30 V.S.A. § 7008(a) and (b) are amended to read:

(a)  Any person who violates any provisions of sections 7004, 7006a, 7006b, or 7007 of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000.00 $5,000.00, in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided by law or any liability for actual damages.

(b)  Any company which does not mark the location of its underground facilities as required by section 7006 or 7006a of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000.00 $5,000.00.

Sec. 3.  30 V.S.A. § 2816(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Any person who violates any statute, rule, regulation, or order of the public service board relating to safety standards or safety practices applicable to transportation of gas through gas pipeline facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the public service board is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.00 $100,000.00 for each violation for each day that the violation persists.  However, the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed $500,000.00 $1,000,000.00 for any related series of violations.  The penalty may be imposed by the board after notice to the offending person of the alleged violations and opportunity for hearing.

Sec. 4.  30 V.S.A. § 7001(4) is amended to read:

(4)  “Excavation activities” means activities involving the removal of earth, rock, or other materials in the ground, disturbing the subsurface of the earth, or the demolition of any structure, by the discharge of explosives or the use of powered or mechanized equipment, or hand tools, including but not limited to digging, trenching, blasting, boring, drilling, hammering, post driving, wrecking, razing, or tunneling, within 100 feet of an underground utility facility.  Excavation activities shall not include the tilling of the soil for agricultural purposes or activities relating to routine public highway maintenance.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us