EXCAVATORS: Local, federal law require call to 911 when pipeline damaged

Damaging pipelines carries its own set of risks.State and federal require a call to 911 when there is a pipeline release. PHMSA may also place maximum civil penalties of $209,002 per violation per day with a maximum of $2,090,022 for any related series of violations on any Florida excavators who damage their regulated pipelines.

Practice damage prevention, protect wallet

The U.S. DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has established criteria for adequate state enforcement of their damage prevention (one-call) laws and also a Federal Standard for Excavators. Here’s what you need to know:

PHMSA evaluated each state against the enforcement criteria to determine program adequacy. Florida’s program was evaluated in December and a decision is pending. PHMSA will take federal enforcement action against excavators in states with inadequate enforcement when a pipeline regulated by PHMSA or the state is unlawfully damaged. Daily fines max out at $200,000 and $2 million. Damage prevention is your best defense.

  • LEARN and FOLLOW Sunshine 811’s High Priority Subsurface Installation (HPSI) procedures for working near HPSIs.
  • ALWAYS CONTACT the pipeline operator with the excavation start date and time when you get positive response code 2C-Marked with Exceptions. That means your excavation site is within 15 feet of an HPSI pipeline.

More Information:

Final Rule Press Release

Final Rule


The Pipeline Safety Statute 49 U.S. Code 60101 – 60301