One-Call Regulatory Updates

New Report Updates Latest Developments By States
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | April 2014, Vol. 69 No. 4

The nation’s One-Call system is considered a vital element in on-going efforts to prevent damage to buried pipes and cables – a telephone call to 8-1-1 rings the nearest state One-Call center which arranges for utility providers who are members to locate and mark buried lines at a specified construction site.

One toll-free number reaches call centers in all parts of the country, but each operates under laws of the state in which it is located, and One-Call regulations differ widely from state to state.

Understanding One-Call procedures and regulations in the state where excavation is to be performed is essential, but those laws are not static and as efforts to protect buried facilities accelerate, those laws are changing, often becoming more stringent.

For that reason a session covering regulatory updates has been included in the Damage Prevention and Safety (DP&S) track of the annual Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exposition (UCT). The presentation was prepared by industry consultant Walt Kelly.

Kelly has compiled information from the 2014 presentation into a written report, One-Call Legislation Survey 2014. The report covers legislation changes made during 2013, laws pending in 2014 and proposed legislation on hold.

Surveyed for the report were state Offices of Pipeline Safety, One-Call notification centers and existing state statutes.

“Organizations involved in underground construction should be aware of state One-Call laws and regulations,” said Kelly. “However, those laws must be monitored because many changes are being made, proposed and awaiting legislative action.

“In addition, contractors need to understand One-Call laws in each state where they are working and be aware of changes that may be coming so they can be prepared to comply.”

The One-Call Legislation Survey 2014 provides a concise summary of this essential information. Surveys for the report found 11 states enacted new legislation, 15 states are preparing proposed legislation or proposed changes are pending, and three states have placed legislative changes on hold. The District of Columbia and 32 states continue to operate primarily under One-Call laws in place.

Playing catch-up