CHAPTER 293*
EXCAVATION, DEMOLITION OR DISCHARGE OF EXPLOSIVES

      *Cited. 12 CA 499.

Table of Contents

Sec. 16-345. Definitions.
Sec. 16-346. Compliance with chapter required prior to excavation or discharge of explosives.
Sec. 16-347. Public utilities to file with Department of Public Utility Control.
Sec. 16-348. Central clearinghouse. Apportionment of costs.
Sec. 16-349. Notice of proposed excavation, discharge of explosives or demolition.
Sec. 16-350. Permits to require compliance with chapter. Evidence re.
Sec. 16-351. Information and assistance re location of underground facilities.
Sec. 16-352. Emergency excavation, demolition or discharge of explosives.
Sec. 16-353. Relation of chapter to permits and other laws.
Sec. 16-354. Care to be exercised near underground facilities. Requirements re.
Sec. 16-355. Procedure when contact is made with or damage is suspected or done to underground facilities.
Sec. 16-356. Civil penalty. Application for hearing.
Sec. 16-357. Regulations.
Sec. 16-358. Underground gas facilities report. Requirements re.
Sec. 16-359. Compliance and enforcement report.

      Sec. 16-345. Definitions. As used in this chapter:

      (a) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company or association, including a person engaged as a contractor by a public agency but excluding a public agency.

      (b) "Public agency" means the state or any political subdivision thereof, including any governmental agency.

      (c) "Public utility" means the owner or operator of underground facilities for furnishing electric, gas, telephone, telegraph, pipeline, sewage, water, community television antenna, steam or traffic signal service, including a municipal or other public owner or operator.

      (d) "Central clearinghouse" means the group of public utilities formed pursuant to section 16-348 for the purposes of receiving and giving notice of excavation activity within the state.

      (e) "Excavation" means an operation for the purposes of movement or removal of earth, rock or other materials in or on the ground, or otherwise disturbing the subsurface of the earth, by the use of powered or mechanized equipment, including but not limited to digging, blasting, auguring, back filling, test boring, drilling, pile driving, grading, plowing-in, hammering, pulling-in, trenching and tunneling; excluding the movement of earth by tools manipulated only by human or animal power and the tilling of soil for agricultural purposes.

      (f) "Demolition" means the wrecking, razing, rending, moving or removing of any structure.

      (g) "Damage" includes but is not limited to the substantial weakening of structural or lateral support of a utility line, penetration or destruction of any utility line protective coating, housing or other protective device or the severance, partial or complete, of any utility line.

      (h) "Approximate location of underground facilities" means a strip of land not more than three feet wide or a strip of land extending not more than one and one-half feet on either side of the underground facilities.

      (P.A. 77-350, S. 1; P.A. 95-79, S. 53, 189; P.A. 98-28, S. 103, 117; P.A. 99-31, S. 8.)

      History: P.A. 95-79 redefined "person" to include a limited liability company, effective May 31, 1995; P.A. 98-28 amended Subsec. (c) by changing electric service to electric distribution service, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 99-31 redefined "public utility" to delete distribution facilities.

      Subdiv. (c):

      Cited. 12 CA 499.


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      Sec. 16-346. Compliance with chapter required prior to excavation or discharge of explosives. No person, public agency or public utility shall engage in excavation or discharge explosives at or near the location of a public utility underground facility or demolish a structure located at or near or containing a public utility facility without having first ascertained the location of all underground facilities of public utilities in the area of such excavation, discharge or demolition in the manner prescribed in this chapter and in such regulations as the department shall adopt pursuant to section 16-357.

      (P.A. 77-350, S. 2; P.A. 87-71, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 87-71 made technical changes and added reference to Sec. 16-357.

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      Sec. 16-347. Public utilities to file with Department of Public Utility Control. A public utility shall file with the Department of Public Utility Control the location of its underground facilities, except facilities for storm sewers, by reference to a standard grid system, to be established by the department, and the title, address and telephone number of its representative designated to receive the notice required by section 16-349.

      (P.A. 77-350, S. 3; 77-614, S. 162, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 80-482, S. 164, 348; P.A. 81-146, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced public utilities control authority with division of public utility control within the department of business regulation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-482 made division an independent department and deleted reference to abolished department of business regulation; P.A. 81-146 exempted storm sewers from filing requirements.

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      Sec. 16-348. Central clearinghouse. Apportionment of costs. The public utilities of the state shall, under the direction of the Department of Public Utility Control, organize and operate a central clearinghouse within the state for receiving and giving the notices required by section 16-349. The department shall apportion the cost of this service equitably among the public utilities for those underground facilities registered with the department, as provided in section 16-347, except sanitary sewer or water facilities owned or operated by a city, town or borough.

      (P.A. 77-350, S. 4; 77-614, S. 162, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 80-482, S. 165, 348; P.A. 81-146, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced public utilities control authority with division of public utility control within the department of business regulation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-482 made division an independent department and deleted reference to abolished department of business regulation; P.A. 81-146 exempted sanitary sewer and water facilities owned or operated by a city, town or borough from being apportioned and limited apportionment generally to those facilities registered with department under Sec. 16-347.

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      Sec. 16-349. Notice of proposed excavation, discharge of explosives or demolition. Except as provided in section 16-352, a person, public agency or public utility responsible for excavating or discharging explosives at or near the location of public utility facilities or demolishing a structure containing a public utility facility shall notify the central clearinghouse of such proposed excavation, discharge or demolition, orally or in writing, at least two full days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, but not more than thirty days before commencing such excavation, demolition or discharge of explosives. Such notice shall include the name, address and telephone number of the entity giving notice, the name of the person, public agency or public utility performing the work and the date, location and type of excavation, demolition or discharge of explosives. The central clearinghouse shall immediately transmit such information to the public utilities whose facilities may be affected. In the event the proposed excavation, demolition or discharge of explosives has not commenced within thirty days of such notification, or the excavation, demolition or discharge of explosives will be expanded outside of the location originally specified in such notification, the person, public agency or public utility responsible for such excavation, demolition or discharge of explosives shall again notify the central clearinghouse at least two full days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, but not more than thirty days before commencing or expanding such excavation, demolition or discharge of explosives.

      (P.A. 77-350, S. 5; 77-614, S. 162, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 80-482, S. 166, 348; P.A. 87-71, S. 3, 13.)

      History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced public utilities control authority with division of public utility control within the department of business regulation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-482 made division an independent department and deleted reference to abolished department of business regulation; P.A. 87-71 made technical changes, eliminated the option of providing notice of excavation or demolition to the department of public utility control, and required additional notice if the excavation or demolition has not commenced within 30 days of the original notice or will expand outside the location originally specified.

      See Sec. 16-356 re penalty for failure to give required notice.

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      Sec. 16-350. Permits to require compliance with chapter. Evidence re. Any permit issued by a public agency for excavation, demolition or discharge of explosives shall require compliance with this chapter. No such permit shall be issued by any public agency unless such public agency receives satisfactory evidence from the person, public agency or public utility seeking such permit that the requirements of this chapter have been met. Such evidence shall be obtained from the central clearinghouse and shall be in such form as the department may prescribe by regulations pursuant to section 16-357.

      (P.A. 77-350, S. 6; P.A. 87-71, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 87-71 required evidence of compliance with chapter 293 to be obtained from the central clearinghouse and furnished to the appropriate public agency prior to the issuance of any permit for excavation, demolition or discharge of explosives.

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      Sec. 16-351. Information and assistance re location of underground facilities. A public utility receiving notice pursuant to section 16-349 shall inform the person, public agency or public utility proposing to excavate, discharge explosives or demolish a structure of the approximate location of its underground facilities in the area in such manner as will enable such person, public agency or public utility to establish the precise location of the underground facilities, and shall provide such other assistance in establishing the precise location of the underground facilities as the department may require by regulation pursuant to section 16-357. Such person, public agency or public utility shall designate the area of the proposed excavation, demolition or discharge of explosives as the department may prescribe by regulation. The public utility receiving notice shall mark the approximate location of its underground facilities in such manner and using such methods, including color coding, as the department may prescribe by regulation. If the precise location of the underground facilities cannot be established, the person, public agency or public utility shall so notify the public utility whose facilities may be affected, which shall provide such further assistance as may be needed to determine the precise location of the underground facilities in advance of the proposed excavation, discharge of explosives or demolition.

      (P.A. 77-350, S. 7; 77-614, S. 162, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 80-482, S. 167, 348; P.A. 87-71, S. 5; 87-589, S. 61, 87.)

      History: P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced public utilities control authority with division of public utility control within the department of business regulation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-482 made division an independent department and deleted reference to abolished department of business regulation; P.A. 87-71 made technical changes and revised provisions concerning the marking of the location of underground utility facilities; P.A. 87-589 added "as the department may prescribe by regulation".

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      Sec. 16-352. Emergency excavation, demolition or discharge of explosives. (a) In case of emergency involving danger to life, health or property or which requires immediate correction to continue the operation of a major industrial plant, or to assure the continuity of public utility service, excavation or demolition without explosives may be made without the two day notice required by section 16-349 provided notice thereof by telephone is given as soon as reasonably possible.

      (b) In case of an emergency involving an immediate and substantial danger of death or serious personal injury, explosives may be discharged if notice thereof is given at any time before discharge.

      (P.A. 77-350, S. 8.)

      See Sec. 16-356 re penalty for failure to give required notice.

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      Sec. 16-353. Relation of chapter to permits and other laws. Except as provided in section 16-350 this chapter shall not be construed to affect or impair local ordinances, charters or other provisions of law requiring permits to be obtained before excavating in a public highway or to demolish structures on private property, nor shall it be construed to grant to any person or public agency any rights not specifically provided by this chapter. A permit from a public agency shall not relieve any person from responsibility for complying with the provisions of this chapter. The failure of any person who has been granted a permit to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to impose any liability upon the public agency issuing the permit.

      (P.A. 77-350, S. 9.)

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      Sec. 16-354. Care to be exercised near underground facilities. Requirements re. A person, public agency or public utility responsible for excavating, discharging explosives or demolition shall exercise reasonable care when working in proximity to the underground facilities of any public utility and shall comply with such safety standards and other requirements as the department shall prescribe by regulation pursuant to section 16-357. If the facilities are likely to be exposed, such support shall be provided as may be reasonably necessary for protection of the facilities. If gas facilities are likely to be exposed, only hand digging shall be employed.

      (P.A. 77-350, S. 10; P.A. 87-71, S. 6.)

      History: P.A. 87-71 required persons, public agencies and public utilities to comply with department of public utility control safety standards and requirements for working near underground utility facilities.

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      Sec. 16-355. Procedure when contact is made with or damage is suspected or done to underground facilities. When any contact is made with or any damage is suspected or done to any underground facility of a public utility, the person, public agency or public utility responsible for the operations causing the contact, suspected damage or damage shall immediately notify the public utility whose facilities have been affected, which shall dispatch its own personnel as soon as reasonably possible to inspect the underground facility and, if necessary, effect temporary or permanent repairs. If a serious electrical short is occurring or if dangerous fluids or gas are escaping from a broken line, the person, public agency or public utility responsible for the operations causing the damage shall alert all persons within the danger area and take all feasible steps to insure the public safety pending the arrival of repair personnel. As used in this section, "contact" includes, without limitation, the striking, scraping or denting, however slight, of any underground utility facility, the structural or lateral support of an underground utility line and any underground utility line protective coating, housing or other protective device.

      (P.A. 77-350, S. 11; P.A. 87-71, S. 7, 13.)

      History: P.A. 87-71 required immediate notice to public utilities of any contact with or suspected damage to their underground facilities, required such public utilities to inspect such facilities as soon as possible, and defined the term "contact".

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      Sec. 16-356. Civil penalty. Application for hearing. Any person, public agency or public utility which the Department of Public Utility Control determines, after notice and opportunity for a hearing as provided in section 16-41, to have failed to comply with any provision of this chapter or any regulation adopted under section 16-357 shall forfeit and pay to the state a civil penalty of not more than forty thousand dollars, provided any violation involving the failure of a public utility to mark the approximate location of underground facilities correctly or within the timeframes prescribed by regulation, which violation did not result in any property damage or personal injury and was not the result of an act of gross negligence on the part of the public utility, shall not result in a civil penalty of more than one thousand dollars. Notwithstanding the provisions contained in subsection (d) of section 16-41, the person, public agency or public utility receiving a notice of violation pursuant to subsection (c) of section 16-41 shall have thirty days from the date of receipt of the notice in which to deliver to the department a written application for a hearing.

      (P.A. 81-146, S. 3; P.A. 87-71, S. 8; P.A. 90-221, S. 9, 15; P.A. 04-43, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 87-71 added references to Sec. 16-41 and provided for a thirty-day period to request a hearing after receiving notice of violation; P.A. 90-221 made technical change in section; P.A. 04-43 changed maximum penalty from $10,000 to $40,000 and specified a maximum penalty of $1,000 for failure to mark the approximate location in cases where no property damage, personal injury or gross negligence occurred.

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      Sec. 16-357. Regulations. The Department of Public Utility Control shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to the extent necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter. Such regulations shall be designed to protect the public safety and shall prescribe (1) the duties and responsibilities of persons, public agencies and public utilities with respect to excavating, discharging explosives or demolition in proximity to any public utility underground facility and (2) a schedule establishing the amounts which may be assessed as civil penalties for violations of this chapter, as provided in section 16-356, based upon the nature and severity of the violation and the number of past violations, but not to exceed the maximum penalty contained in said section. The department shall revise the regulations adopted pursuant to this section regarding a graduated schedule of civil penalties assessed pursuant to section 16-356 and the criteria by which the department determines the amount of such civil penalties.

      (P.A. 87-71, S. 9, 13; P.A. 04-43, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 04-43 added provision requiring department to revise regulations re civil penalties.

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      Sec. 16-358. Underground gas facilities report. Requirements re. (a) Every gas company, as defined in section 16-1, owning or operating any underground facilities for furnishing gas shall, every two years, beginning on or before April 1, 1997, furnish a report to the Department of Public Utility Control concerning the condition of such underground gas facilities for each of the previous two calendar years. The report shall be made available to the public and shall be furnished to the chief executive officer of each municipality in which such underground gas facilities are located, the regional planning agency which encompasses each such municipality, the Attorney General, the president pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public utilities, any other member of the General Assembly making a request to the department for the report and such other state and municipal bodies as the department may designate by regulation. The report shall include: (1) Information concerning the age and condition of such underground gas facilities; (2) data on all major repairs to such underground gas facilities undertaken during the reporting period; (3) plans for replacing aged, deteriorated and obsolete piping; (4) plans for the construction of new underground gas facilities; and (5) such other information as the department may require by regulation.

      (b) The Department of Public Utility Control shall review and may conduct a public hearing on each report required by subsection (a) of this section. The department may require a gas company to submit additional information to explain or substantiate items contained in the report or to address specific matters not contained in the report and may issue such remedial orders as the department deems necessary to eliminate hazards to public safety and prevent interruptions in gas service to consumers.

      (P.A. 87-71, S. 10, 11, 13; P.A. 96-46, S. 4; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1, S. 9, 121.)

      History: P.A. 96-46 amended Subsec. (a) to require gas companies to furnish reports every two years rather than annually and amended Subsec. (b) to make provision re the department conducting a public hearing discretionary rather than mandatory; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1 made a technical change to Subsec. (a), effective June 24, 1998.

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      Sec. 16-359. Compliance and enforcement report. Every two years, beginning October 1, 1997, the Department of Public Utility Control may submit a report concerning compliance with and enforcement of the provisions contained in this chapter to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public utilities. Such reports shall be based upon data assembled for the most recent twenty-four-month period and shall include, without limitation, the number of notifications made to the central clearinghouse, a detailed listing of accident, damage and injury reports and a detailed listing of enforcement actions brought and civil penalties imposed by the department. Such report shall also contain the findings and recommendations of the department with respect to the improvement of compliance with and enforcement of the provisions contained in this chapter and an evaluation of the overall condition of the state's underground gas facilities, including the potential for harm to the public and disruption of service resulting from aged, deteriorated and obsolete underground facilities.

      (P.A. 87-71, S. 12, 13; P.A. 96-46, S. 5; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1, S. 10, 121.)

      History: P.A. 96-46 changed reporting requirement from annually to every two years, made submittal of report discretionary rather than mandatory, and deleted provisions re contents of initial report; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 98-1 made a technical change, effective June 24, 1998.

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