[CRNR, Register 2019, Volume No. 20-Z, 05/17/2019, pages 780-784]
The California Underground Facilities Safe Excavation Board is proposing to add sections 4000 through 4361 under California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 4, Chapters 1 – 4. The regulations proposed in this rulemaking action would establish definitions for certain terms used in the proposed regulations, investigation and enforcement processes, and onsite meeting and agreement requirements for areas of continual excavation near high priority subsurface installations. Highlights of this proposed rulemaking include:
- The proposed rules in Title 19, Division 4, Chapters 1 – 4 give definitions for “Damage,” any excavation work that causes breaks, leaks, nicks, dents, strikes, gouges, grooves, cracks, or punctures, to subsurface facilities.
- Regional notification centers shall maintain valid and current contact information of all members and provide such information to the Board upon request.
- Excavators are required to notify regional notification centers of damages to natural gas or hazardous liquid pipelines, high priority subsurface installations, or if any injuries or fatalities have occurred no less than 2 hours after the event.
- Investigators are authorized to investigate damages, probable violations, or reports of incidents. They may also issue notices of probable violations and information letters.
- Upon request, excavators and operators shall provide access to sites and information and, if hindering an investigation, are subject to sanctions. Sanctions for any violations may include an Order for Corrective Actions or fines beginning July 1, 2020. Operators and excavators will be able to respond to any assessed violations.
- In addition, the Operator shall locate and field mark facilities prior to an onsite meeting and plan at the site of the subsurface installation. Onsite meetings must include the excavator and the Operator, and should complete the Area of Continual Excavation Agreement for Flood Control Facilities or Agricultural Operations near subsurface installations.
Written comments regarding these proposed changes will be accepted through July 1, 2019. Comments can be sent via email. Include in the subject line of the email “Comments: Investigation & Enforcement.”
For a copy of California’s (DIG) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, contact Jessica Foley.