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


2017 Holiday Calendar

Sunshine 811 will be closed the following holidays throughout 2017. Our Internet Ticket Entry and Single Address Ticket systems will function during these times. As a reminder, these days are not counted in the two full business day or 10 full business day waiting periods for normal and underwater locate tickets. Please plan accordingly.

January 2 New Year's
January 16 Martin Luther King Day
May 29 Memorial Day
July 4 Independence Day
September 4 Labor Day
November 23 & 24 Thanksgiving
December 25 & 26 Christmas

New positive response code clarifies procedures when digging near white lined areas

Sunshine 811 recently rolled out the new positive response code, “2E Marked with Exceptions – marked within the confines of the white-lined area.” The purpose of the new code is further described in the accompanying paragraph: “A locate technician marked the approximate horizontal location of buried facilities WITHIN the white-lined area. (White paint, stakes or other white marks define the dig site boundary.) Any excavation outside the white-lined area requires a new ticket.

Excavators who white line their job sites before notifying 811 create win-win situations for themselves and locate technicians. It’s a best practice and it’s a low impact marking practice in the Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act, Chapter 556, Florida Statutes.

White lining eliminates the guess work for locators. It clearly defines the dig area with white paint, flags, stakes or a combination of these before you notify 811.

This code may also be used after the locate technician has asked you to white line because the locate description was not clear.