Sunshine 811's Board of Directors has approved an amendment to the “Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act”, Chapter 556, Florida Statutes for distribution and comment by interested stakeholders. It reads as follows with the new language underlined:
556.105 (12) If any contact with or damage to any pipe, cable, or its protective covering, or any other underground facility occurs, the excavator causing the contact or damage shall immediately notify the member operator. Upon receiving notice, the member operator shall send personnel to the location as soon as possible to effect temporary or permanent repair of the contact or damage. Until such time as the contact or damage has been repaired, the excavator shall cease excavation or demolition activities that may cause further damage to such underground facility. When an event giving rise to a notice results in damage to any pipe, cable or its protective covering, or any other underground facility, the member operator receiving the notice shall file a report with the system no less than annually of the date of discovery of such damage. The report shall describe, if known, the cause, nature and location of the damage.
The purpose and intent of the proposed amendment for mandatory damage reporting is to:
- Establish a factual record of excavation damage to underground facilities in Florida;
- Identify the root causes of excavation damage to underground facilities;
- Identify and build consensus and support for further legislation needed to prevent future excavation damage to underground facilities;
- Provide information needed to develop and implement targeted Sunshine 811 public awareness campaigns and educational programs to prevent future excavation damage to underground facilities in Florida.
Sunshine 811’s goal is to build consensus and support for the proposed amendment of Chapter 556, F.S., to include mandatory damage reporting in the 2017 Florida Legislative Session and is currently seeking comment from interested stakeholders.