9-1.5-103. Plans and specifications

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9-1.5-103. Plans and specifications – notice of excavation – duties of excavators – duties of owners and operators – fee – repeal.

(1) (Deleted by amendment, L. 93, p. 499, § 1, effective September 1, 1993.)

(2) Architects, engineers, or other persons designing excavation shall obtain general information as to the description, nature, and location of underground facilities in the area of such proposed excavation and include such general information in the plans or specifications to inform an excavation contractor of the existence of such facilities and of the need to obtain information thereon pursuant to subsection (3) of this section.

(2.4) At the project owner’s expense, a licensed professional engineer designing for a subsurface utility engineering-required project shall:

(a) Notify the notification association with a subsurface utility engineering notification;

(b) Either:

(I) Meet or exceed the ASCE 38 standard for defining the underground facility location in the stamped plans for all underground facilities within the proposed excavation area; or

(II) Document the reasons why any underground facilities depicted in the stamped plans do not meet or exceed ASCE 38 utility quality level B or its successor utility quality level;

(c) Attempt to achieve ASCE 38 utility quality level B or its successor utility quality level on all utilities within the proposed excavation area unless a reasonable rationale by a licensed professional engineer is given for not doing so; and

(d) Document the reasons why any underground facilities depicted in the stamped plans do not meet or exceed ASCE 38 utility quality level A or its successor utility quality level for underground facilities at the point of a potential conflict with the installation of a gravity-fed system.

(2.7) An underground facility owner that receives a subsurface utility engineering notification or other request for information from a designer shall respond to the request within ten business days after the request, not including the day of actual notice, in one or more of the following ways:

(a) Provide underground facility location records that give the available information on the location, not to include depth, of underground facilities within the project limits;

(b) Provide a mark on the ground that gives the approximate location, not to include depth, of its underground facilities within the project limits; or

(c) Provide the available information as to the approximate location, not to include depth, of its underground facilities within the project limits.

(3) (a) (I) (A) Except in emergency situations and except as to an employee or an employer’s contractor with respect to the employer’s underground facilities or as otherwise provided in an agreement with an owner or operator, a person shall not make or begin excavation without first notifying the notification association and, if necessary, the tier two members having underground facilities in the area of the excavation. Notice may be given in person, by telephone, by electronic methods approved by the notification association, or in writing if delivered.

(B) This subsection (3)(a)(I) is repealed, effective January 1, 2021.

(II) Effective January 1, 2021, except in emergency situations and except as to an employee or an employer’s contractor with respect to the employer’s underground facilities, a person shall not make or begin excavation without first notifying the notification association. Notice may be given by electronic methods approved by the notification association or by telephone.

(b) Notice of the commencement, extent, and duration of the excavation work shall be given at least two business days prior thereto not including the day of actual notice.

(c) (I) Any notice given pursuant to subsection (3)(b) of this section must include the following:

(A) The name and telephone number of the person who is giving the notice;

(B) The name and telephone number of the excavator; and

(C) The specific location, starting date, and description of the intended excavation activity.

(II) If an area of excavation cannot be accurately described on the locate request, the excavator shall notify the owner or operator of the area of excavation using one or more of the following methods:

(A) Physical delineation with white marks on a hard surface area;

(B) Electronic delineation on a map, plan sheet, or aerial photograph that can be transmitted electronically from the excavator to the facility owner or operator through the notification association; or

(C) Scheduling an on-site meeting between the excavator and the owner or operator.

(D) An excavator requiring existing marked underground facilities to be exposed may list a single secondary excavator on its notice to the notification association and employ the services of the listed secondary excavator to expose marked underground facilities using reasonable care to not damage the facilities. The secondary excavator may expose marked underground facilities under the excavator’s notice to the notification association only if the excavator has complied with this subsection (3).

(4) (a) (I) Any owner or operator receiving notice pursuant to subsection (3) of this section shall, at no cost to the excavator and within two business days, not including the day of actual notice, use reasonable care to advise the excavator of the location, number, and size of any underground facilities in the proposed excavation area, including laterals in the public right-of-way, by marking the location of the facilities with clearly identifiable markings within eighteen inches horizontally from the exterior sides of the facilities. The markings must include the depth, if known, and shall be made pursuant to the uniform color code as approved by the American Public Works Association. The markings must meet the marking standards as established by the safety commission pursuant to section 9-1.5-104.2 (1)(a)(I). The documentation required by this subsection (4)(a)(I) shall be provided to the excavator through the notification association and must meet or exceed any quality standards established by the safety commission pursuant to section 9-1.5-104.2 (1)(a)(I). In addition to the markings, the owner or operator shall provide for each of its underground facilities:

(A) Documentation listing the owner’s or operator’s name and the size and type of each marked underground facility; and

(B) Documentation of the location of the underground facilities in the form of a digital sketch, a hand-drawn sketch, or a photograph that includes a readily identifiable landmark, where practicable.

(II) A sewer system owner or operator shall provide its best available information when marking the location of sewer laterals in the public right-of-way with clearly identifiable markings. “Best available information” includes tap measurements and historic records. If the sewer lateral can be electronically located, the sewer system owner or operator shall mark and document the location of the sewer laterals in accordance with this subsection (4)(a). If a sewer system owner or operator of a sewer lateral cannot electronically locate the sewer lateral, the excavator shall find the sewer lateral.

(III) The marking of customer-owned laterals in the public right-of-way is for informational purposes only, and an owner or operator is not liable to any party for damages or injuries resulting from damage done to customer-owned laterals.

(IV) If a person is involved in excavating across a preexisting underground facility, the owner of such facility shall, upon a predetermined agreement at the request of the excavator or the owner, provide on-site assistance. Any owner or operator receiving notice concerning an excavator’s intent to excavate shall use reasonable care to advise the excavator of the absence of any underground facilities in the proposed excavation area by providing positive response documentation to the excavator through the notification association that no underground facilities exist in the proposed excavation area. An owner or operator shall, within the time limits specified in subsection (6) of this section, provide to the excavator evidence, if any, of underground facilities abandoned after January 1, 2001, known to the owner or operator to be in the proposed excavation area.

(b) The marking of underground facilities shall be considered valid so long as the markings are clearly visible, but not for more than thirty calendar days following the due date of the locate request initiated pursuant to subsection (3) of this section; except that, if an excavation notice is limited to only annual road maintenance that does not exceed six inches in depth conducted by a government agency on an existing unpaved road, the marking shall be considered valid for up to one hundred eighty days. Upon receipt of the notification, an owner or operator has ten business days to coordinate the excavation activity with the government agency. If an excavation has not been completed within the applicable period, the excavator shall notify the notification association at least two business days, not including the day of actual notice, before the end of the applicable period.

(b.5) Any person who willfully or maliciously removes a marking used by an owner or operator to mark the location of any underground facility, except in the ordinary course of excavation, is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, in addition to any order for restitution, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars for each offense, by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(c) (I) (A) When a person excavates within eighteen inches horizontally from the exterior sides of any marked underground facility, the person shall use nondestructive means of excavation to identify underground facilities and shall otherwise exercise reasonable care to protect any underground facility in or near the excavation area. When utilizing trenchless excavation methods, the excavator shall expose underground facilities and visually observe the safe crossing of marked underground facilities when requested to do so by the underground facility owner or operator or the government agency that issued a permit for the excavation.

(B) The excavator shall maintain adequate and accurate documentation, including photographs, video, or sketches and documentation obtained through the notification association, at the excavation site on the location and identification of any underground facility and shall maintain adequate markings of any underground facility throughout the excavation period. A person shall not use a subsurface utility engineering notification for excavation purposes.

(II) (A) If the documentation or markings maintained pursuant to subsection (4)(c)(I) of this section become lost or invalid, the excavator shall notify the notification association or the affected owner or operator through the notification association and request an immediate reverification of the location of any underground facility. Upon receipt of the notification, the affected owner or operator shall respond as quickly as is practicable. The excavator shall cease excavation activities at the affected location until the location of any underground facilities has been reverified.

(B) If the documentation or markings maintained pursuant to subsection (4)(c)(I) of this section are determined to be inaccurate, the excavator shall immediately notify the affected owner or operator through the notification association and shall request an immediate reverification of the location of any underground facility. Upon receipt of the notification, the affected owner or operator shall respond as quickly as practicable. The excavator may continue excavation activity if the excavator exercises due caution and care to prevent damaging any underground facility.

(III) If a person performing routine maintenance discovers an underground facility in the area where the routine maintenance is being performed, the person shall notify the notification association and the affected owner or operator as quickly as practicable and request an immediate verification of the location of any underground facility. Upon receiving notification, the affected owner or operator shall respond as quickly as practicable. The person shall cease routine maintenance activities in the immediate area, as determined by exercising due caution and care, until the location of any underground facilities has been verified.

(5) In emergency situations, excavators shall take such precautions as are reasonable under the circumstances to avoid damage to underground facilities and notify affected owners or operators and the notification association as soon as possible of such emergency excavations. In the event of damage to any underground facility, the excavator shall immediately notify the affected owner or operator and the notification association of the location and extent of such damage.

(6) If documentation or markings requested and needed by an excavator pursuant to subsection (4) of this section are not provided by the owner or operator within two business days, not including the day of actual notice, or such later time as agreed upon by the excavator and the owner or operator, or, if the documentation or markings provided fail to identify the location of the underground facilities, the excavator shall immediately give notice through the notification association to the owner or operator, may proceed with the excavation, and is not liable for such damage except upon proof of the excavator’s lack of reasonable care.

(6.5) If positive response required pursuant to subsection (4) of this section is not provided by the owner or operator within two business days, not including the day of actual notice, or by a later time as otherwise agreed upon in writing, the notification association shall send an additional renotification to that owner or operator. The notification association shall continue to send out renotifications daily until the notification association receives the positive response.

(7) (a) In the event of damage to an underground facility, the excavator, owner, and operator shall cooperate to mitigate damages to the extent reasonably possible, including the provision of in-kind work by the excavator where technical or specialty skills are not required by the nature of the underground facility. Such in-kind work may be under the supervision and pursuant to the specifications of the owner or operator.

(b) If damage to an underground facility meets or exceeds the reporting threshold as established by the notification association pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subsection (7), the owner or operator of the damaged underground facility shall provide the information listed in subparagraphs (I) to (VII) of paragraph (c) of this subsection (7) to the notification association within ninety days after service has been restored.

(c) The notification association shall create and publicize to its members a reporting process, including the availability of electronic reporting and a threshold at which reporting is required, to compile the following information:

(I) The type of underground facility that was damaged;

(II) Whether notice of the intention to excavate was provided to the notification association;

(III) Whether the underground facility had been validly marked prior to being damaged;

(IV) The type of service that was interrupted;

(V) Repealed.

(VI) The duration of the interruption; and

(VII) The location of the area where the underground facility was damaged.

(d) The notification association shall include a statistical summary of the information provided to it under this subsection (7) in the annual report required under section 9-1.5-105 (2.6).

(e) (I) On or before July 1 of each year, the notification association shall prepare and submit to the safety commission an annual report for each owner or operator summarizing the following data from the prior calendar year:

(A) The number of locate requests submitted to the owner or operator pursuant to subsection (4) of this section;

(B) The number of notices submitted to the owner or operator pursuant to subsection (6) of this section;

(C) The percentage of locate requests resulting in notices submitted to the owner or operator pursuant to subsection (6) of this section;

(D) The number of renotifications submitted to the owner or operator pursuant to subsection (6.5) of this section; and

(E) The percentage of locate requests resulting in renotifications submitted to the owner or operator pursuant to subsection (6.5) of this section.

(II) The notification association shall make the data in the annual report electronically accessible to the safety commission for customized reports or research.

(8) A person who performs maintenance shall take reasonable care when disturbing the soil.

(9) If damage results in the escape of any interstate or intrastate natural gas or other gas or hazardous liquid, the excavator or person that caused the damage shall promptly report to the owner and operator and the appropriate authorities by calling the 911 emergency telephone number or another emergency telephone number. The reporting is in addition to any reporting required to be made to any state or local agency.

(10) All new underground facilities, including laterals up to the structure or building being served, installed on or after August 8, 2018, must be electronically locatable when installed.

(11) Nothing in this article 1.5 affects or impairs any local ordinances or other provisions of law requiring permits to be obtained before an excavation. A permit issued by a government agency does not relieve an excavator from complying with this article 1.5.

Source: L. 81: Entire article added, p. 521, § 1, effective October 1. L. 93: Entire article amended, p. 499, § 1, effective September 1. L. 2000: (4)(a), (4)(c), (6), and (7) amended and (4)(b.5) added, p. 685, § 2, effective May 23. L. 2009: (4)(c)(III) and (8) added, (HB 09-1092), ch. 38, p. 152, §§ 2, 3, effective August 5. L. 2018: (2.4), (2.7), (6.5), (7)(e), and (9) to (11) added, (3)(a), (3)(c), (3)(d), (4)(a), (4)(b), (4)(c)(I), (4)(c)(II), and (6) amended, and (7)(c)(V) repealed, (SB 18-167), ch. 256, p. 1563, § 2, effective August 8.

Editor’s note: Section 12 of chapter 256 (SB 18-167), Session Laws of Colorado 2018, provides that the act changing this section applies to conduct occurring on or after August 8, 2018.

 

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