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19.122.027  <<  19.122.030 >>   19.122.031

RCW 19.122.030

Excavator and facility operator duties before excavation.

(1)(a) Unless exempted under RCW 19.122.031, before commencing any excavation, an excavator must mark the boundary of the excavation area with white paint applied on the ground of the worksite, then provide notice of the scheduled commencement of excavation to all facility operators through a one-number locator service.

     (b) If boundary marking required by (a) of this subsection is infeasible, an excavator must communicate directly with affected facility operators to ensure that the boundary of the excavation area is accurately identified.

     (2) An excavator must provide the notice required by subsection (1) of this section to a one-number locator service not less than two business days and not more than ten business days before the scheduled date for commencement of excavation, unless otherwise agreed by the excavator and facility operators. If an excavator intends to work at multiple sites or at a large project, the excavator must take reasonable steps to confer with facility operators to enable them to locate underground facilities reasonably in advance of the start of excavation for each phase of the work.

     (3) Upon receipt of the notice provided for in subsection (1) of this section, a facility operator must, with respect to:

     (a) The facility operator's locatable underground facilities, provide the excavator with reasonably accurate information by marking their location;

     (b) The facility operator's unlocatable or identified but unlocatable underground facilities, provide the excavator with available information as to their location; and

     (c) Service laterals, designate their presence or location, if the service laterals:

     (i) Connect end users to the facility operator's main utility line; and

     (ii) Are within a public right-of-way or utility easement and the boundary of the excavation area identified under subsection (1) of this section.

     (4)(a) A facility operator must provide information to an excavator pursuant to subsection (3) of this section no later than two business days after the receipt of the notice provided for in subsection (1) of this section or before excavation commences, at the option of the facility operator, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.

     (b) A facility operator complying with subsection (3)(b) and (c) of this section may do so in a manner that includes any of the following methods:

     (i) Placing within a proposed excavation area a triangular mark at the main utility line pointing at the building, structure, or property in question, indicating the presence of an unlocatable or identified but unlocatable underground facility, including a service lateral;

     (ii) Arranging to meet an excavator at a worksite to provide available information about the location of service laterals; or

     (iii) Providing copies of the best reasonably available records by electronic message, mail, facsimile, or other delivery method.

     (c) A facility operator's good faith attempt to comply with subsection (3)(b) and (c) of this section:

     (i) Constitutes full compliance with the requirements of this section, and no person may be found liable for damages or injuries that may result from such compliance, apart from liability for arranging for repairs or relocation as provided in RCW 19.122.050(2); and

     (ii) Does not constitute any assertion of ownership or operation of a service lateral by the facility operator.

     (d) An end user is responsible for determining the location of a service lateral on their property or a service lateral that they own. Nothing in this section may be interpreted to require an end user to subscribe to a one-number locator service or to locate a service lateral within a right-of-way or utility easement.

     (5) An excavator must not excavate until all known facility operators have marked or provided information regarding underground facilities as provided in this section.

     (6)(a) Once marked by a facility operator, an excavator is responsible for maintaining the accuracy of the facility operator's markings of underground facilities for the lesser of:

     (i) Forty-five calendar days from the date that the excavator provided notice to a one-number locator service pursuant to subsection (1) of this section; or

     (ii) The duration of the project.

     (b) An excavator that makes repeated requests for location of underground facilities due to its failure to maintain the accuracy of a facility operator's markings as required by this subsection (6) may be charged by the facility operator for services provided.

     (c) A facility operator's markings of underground utilities expire forty-five calendar days from the date that the excavator provided notice to a one-number locator service pursuant to subsection (1) of this section. For excavation occurring after that date, an excavator must provide additional notice to a one-number locator service pursuant to subsection (1) of this section.

     (7) An excavator has the right to receive reasonable compensation from a facility operator for costs incurred by the excavator if the facility operator does not locate its underground facilities in accordance with the requirements specified in this section.

     (8) A facility operator has the right to receive reasonable compensation from an excavator for costs incurred by the facility operator if the excavator does not comply with the requirements specified in this section.

     (9) A facility operator is not required to comply with subsection (4) of this section with respect to service laterals conveying only water if their presence can be determined from other visible water facilities, such as water meters, water valve covers, and junction boxes in or adjacent to the boundary of an excavation area identified under subsection (1) of this section.

     (10) If an excavator discovers underground facilities that are not identified, the excavator must cease excavating in the vicinity of the underground facilities and immediately notify the facility operator or a one-number locator service. If an excavator discovers identified but unlocatable underground facilities, the excavator must notify the facility operator. Upon notification by a one-number locator service or an excavator, a facility operator must allow for location of the uncovered portion of an underground facility identified by the excavator, and may accept location information from the excavator for marking of the underground facility.

[2011 c 263 § 4; 2000 c 191 § 17; 1988 c 99 § 1; 1984 c 144 § 3.]

Notes:

     Report -- Effective date--2011 c 263: See notes following RCW 19.122.010.

     Intent -- Findings -- Conflict with federal requirements -- Short title -- Effective date -- 2000 c 191: See RCW 81.88.005 and 81.88.900 through 81.88.902.

Damages to facilities on state highways: RCW 47.44.150.