In This Issue

Louisiana Dig Law Has Changed

Late last year Governor Jindal signed into law significant changes in the Louisiana Underground Utilities and Facilities Damage Prevention Act R.S. 40:1749, otherwise known as the state’s “dig law.” These changes affect everyone involved in excavation in Louisiana, including homeowners, contractors and utility operators.

Waiting Period Changed
Under the revised statute, utilities, pipelines and other operators will have a little more time to mark their underground facilities. The waiting period is now two full business days beginning at 7 a.m. on the next working day after the excavator files their request to have the site marked.

Emergency Excavations Redefined

The revised law now defines emergencies more strictly. The new definition requires that excavators who declare an emergency must have a crew on site when an emergency is declared, and provides for penalties up to $5,000 for repeated violations of this requirement.

Markings Valid Longer
Once the site is marked, the markings are considered valid so long as they are visible for up to 20 calendar days on non-agricultural sites, doubling the time allowed before such sites must be marked again. Farmers and other agricultural excavators get an additional 10 days and therefore need not request re-marking for 30 days so long as the marks remain visible.

More Time to Plan Large Jobs
Excavators working on large projects may now request utility location up to 20 days in advance.

Utility Operators May Elect Not to Receive Notifications
Finally, the new law will allow utility operators excavating near their own underground systems to elect not to receive notifications involving their own work.

The revised law can be reviewed here on the LA One Call 811 website, where links are provided to the original text on the Louisiana Legislature’s web site.

[Reprinted with permission. The original article appeared in the LA One Call 811 Newsletter, Vol. 6 No. 3, May 1, 2012.]