Sunshine 811 Legislative Alert

Your support needed on amendments for Chapter 556 F.S.

Representative Thomas Leek, House District 25, and Senator Kathleen Passidomo, Senate District 28, have filed House Bill 379 and Senate Bill 446 respectively. The next stops for the bills are the Committee hearings that will begin soon. Please forward this information to your governmental affairs representatives for their information and their support for Representative Leek and Senator Passidomo. 

On November 18, 2016, the Sunshine 811 Board of Directors voted to recommend amendment of the Florida Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act, Chapter 556, Florida Statutes. The proposed 2017 legislation is intended to:

  • Allow State enforcement authorities to retain 80 percent of the civil penalty collected by the clerk of the court from citations issued for violation of Chapter 556 (as currently granted to local enforcement authorities as an incentive to enforce the law);

  • Require excavators to call 911 to report any contact with an underground pipeline that results in a release of a hazardous material or substance (as directed by US DOT PHMSA for consistency with federal law);

  • Require that member operators report to the system at least annually by March 31 of each year a report of the damages to their underground facilities for the preceding year (to build a database of damages to underground facilities in Florida to include if known, the cause, nature and location of the damage);

  • Authorize the system analyze the damage data reported to the system as authorized by the Board of Directors (to support future legislation needed to reduce damages to critical underground facilities and assist in developing targeted public awareness campaigns);

  • Require the system to annually send a summary of damages reported to the system for the preceding year to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Governor pursuant to s. 556.103.