Damage Prevention Stakeholder,
Colorado 811 or CO811 is initiating regular correspondence with its members and industry stakeholders to inform them of the status of the 2018 legislative changes to the Colorado State One Call Law. The Colorado 811 correspondence will take the following forms: 1) “Legislative Bits” which are monthly emails and social media posts addressed to interested stakeholders; 2) the legislative page on the CO811 website; 3) A FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions page on the CO811 website; 4) a series of educational videos on the CO811 YouTube channel; and 5) free presentations offered by the CO811 Damage Prevention Liaisons around the state. The Colorado 811 resources are posted at https://colorado811.org/one-call-legislation and they will be frequently updated.
CO811 embraces the changes made to the One Call Law mandated by the Colorado Legislature and will continue to deliver the highest level of service while providing exceptional value to all our members and stakeholders. Our stakeholders include, but are not limited to: facility owners and operators, excavators, government agencies, industry associations and the general public. The recent changes in the One Call Law should encourage and result in improved damage prevention practices that will protect the critical underground infrastructure we all depend upon daily. The changes in the law will also provide a safer environment for workers and the citizens of Colorado.
The 2018 One Call legislative changes focused on four areas:
- The new law eliminates any distinction between Tier One and Tier Two members. This means Colorado 811 will be a true “One Call System”. The new membership structure is mandatory on January 1, 2019 and existing Tier Two members will have until January 1, 2021 to convert their membership status to Tier One and update their underground facility registration with CO811. All Tier Two members are encouraged to transition to Tier One membership prior to 2019 (Tier Two members will be required to submit a registration form for Tier One membership).
- The 2018 law created a Colorado Damage Prevention Safety Commission. Once established, the Colorado Damage Prevention Safety Commission will be responsible for reviewing complaints from stakeholders and enforcing the provisions of the new One Call Law which can include imposing penalties for violations of the law and advising stakeholders on best practices and policies to enhance safety while improving efficiencies. The Commission will consist of 15 appointed stakeholder representatives who will meet at least quarterly to review and resolve complaints filed by stakeholders. A new penalty schedule has been defined in the One Call Law and the Commission has the power to fine any stakeholder who does not comply with the state One Call Law, except for Home Rule cities. Home Rule cities can choose to accept the Safety Commission guidelines and rulings or establish their own Commission for local enforcement.
- Excavators have a voting representative on the CO811 Board of Directors. Under the new One Call Law, excavators will have three seats on the Commission; two through the CO811 excavator membership and one through the Colorado Contractors Association. Excavators are encouraged to immediately join CO811 as a member to gain representation and have a voice on the Commission. Elections for CO811’s commission seats will be held from July to September. The excavator membership fee is $100 per year.
- Implementation of a Subsurface Utility Engineering ticket will provide the design and engineering community with more consistent information and responses from Facility Owners (FOs). FOs will have up to ten days to respond directly to the design/engineering firm with documentation, which may include facility location information, maps and/or a facility locate. The design/engineering firm must pay the FOs directly for these services. As with the current Engineering Ticket, excavation activities cannot occur with this ticket type.
Additional information on the One Call Law changes and the potential impact to stakeholders and CO811 operations and procedures will be discussed in coming months.
The new One Call Law takes effect on August 8, 2018. The Safety Commission should be in place by January 1, 2019 and should begin to accept complaints or concerns sometime in early 2019. Current Tier Two members should begin converting to Tier One and updating their facility registration at their earliest convenience. Tier Two to Tier One conversion should be completed on or before January 1, 2021. Members converting from Tier Two to Tier One will receive notifications via electronic transmission free of charge through December 31, 2020.
CO811 has developed a comprehensive plan to ensure a successful transition and implementation of the new changes in the One Call Law. Listed below are a few of the major tasks that have been started:
Tier Two Communication: An email was sent to all Tier Two members outlining the conversion requirements. In addition, a survey will be sent out at the end of July to Tier Two members.
Change Buffer Zone: A soon to be completed study will determine the financial, operational and safety impact of modifying the size of the buffer zone for dig site and member notification area. The CO811 Board of Directors will review the findings of this study in July and determine if a change is warranted. A change in the buffer zone could reduce transmissions provided to some members.
Commission Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): Colorado 811 and the Department of Labor will establish a Memorandum of Understanding or MOU between the Commission and CO811. The MOU will define the working relationship between CO811 and the Safety Commission to include administrative support, data access and data reporting.
Data Reporting: Consultants have been engaged to develop a data repository and stakeholder reporting engine to support damage incident and stakeholder research for the Commission.
Educational Platform: A web-based learning platform to deliver a modularized learning experience will be implemented. The current Damage Prevention course will be updated to include the changes in the One Call Law and the changes in the CO811 operational procedures.
Damage Prevention Liaisons: CO811 will schedule presentations throughout the State hosted by the five Damage Prevention Liaisons from CO811. These highly informative presentations will review the new legislative mandates and assist with Tier Two member conversions which will begin August 1, 2018.
CO811 will continue to provide regular updates on the changes in the One Call Law and the impact on the CO811 contact center operations and procedures. Please continue to visit the CO811 legislative webpage or contact the Damage Prevention Liaison in your area if you have any further questions.
Colorado 811, Chief Executive Officer