Code Section

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 1. GENERAL [100 - 7914]

  ( Title 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )


  ( Division 5 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

CHAPTER 3.1. Protection of Underground Infrastructure [4215 - 4216.24]

  ( Heading of Chapter 3.1 amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 928, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 2. Regional Notification Center System [4216 - 4216.24]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 928, Sec. 4. )


(a) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), if an excavation is within the tolerance zone of a subsurface installation, the excavator shall determine the exact location of the subsurface installations in conflict with the excavation using hand tools before using any power-driven excavation or boring equipment within the tolerance zone of the subsurface installations. In all cases the excavator shall use reasonable care to prevent damaging subsurface installations.

(2) (A) An excavator may use a vacuum excavation device to expose subsurface installations within the tolerance zone if the operator has marked the subsurface installation, the excavator has contacted any operator whose subsurface installations may be in conflict with the excavation, and the operator has agreed to the use of a vacuum excavation device. An excavator shall inform the regional notification center of his or her intent to use a vacuum excavation device when obtaining a ticket.

(B) An excavator may use power-operated or boring equipment for the removal of any existing pavement only if there is no known subsurface installation contained in the pavement.

(C) Beginning July 1, 2020, an excavator may use power-operated or boring equipment, as determined by the board, prior to determining the exact location of subsurface installations. The board shall adopt regulations to implement this paragraph on or before July 1, 2020.

(3) An excavator shall presume all subsurface installations to be active, and shall use the same care around subsurface installations that may be inactive as the excavator would use around active subsurface installations.

(b) If the exact location of the subsurface installation cannot be determined by hand excavating in accordance with subdivision (a), the excavator shall request the operator to provide additional information to the excavator, to the extent that information is available to the operator, to enable the excavator to determine the exact location of the installation. If the excavator has questions about the markings that an operator has placed, the excavator may contact the notification center to send a request to have the operator contact the excavator directly. The regional notification center shall provide the excavator with the contact telephone number of the subsurface installation operator.

(c) (1) An excavator discovering or causing damage to a subsurface installation, including all breaks, leaks, nicks, dents, gouges, grooves, or other damage to subsurface installation lines, conduits, coatings, or cathodic protection, shall immediately notify the subsurface installation operator. The excavator may contact the regional notification center to obtain the contact information of the subsurface installation operator. If the operator is unknown and the damage or discovery of damage occurs outside the working hours of the regional notification center, the excavator may follow the instructions provided by the regional notification center through its Internet Web site or the telephone line recorded message.

(2) An excavator shall call 911 emergency services upon discovering or causing damage to either of the following:

(A) A natural gas or hazardous liquid pipeline subsurface installation in which the damage results in the escape of any flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas or liquid.

(B) A high priority subsurface installation of any kind.

(d) Each excavator, operator, or locator shall communicate with each other and respect the appropriate safety requirements and ongoing activities of the other parties, if known, at an excavation site.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 708, Sec. 1. (AB 1914) Effective January 1, 2019.)