Code Section

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 1. GENERAL [100 - 7914]

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

DIVISION 5. PUBLIC WORK AND PUBLIC PURCHASES [4000 - 4563]

  ( 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. )

  
4216.6.  

(a) (1) Any operator or excavator who negligently violates this article is subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(2) Any operator or excavator who knowingly and willfully violates any of the provisions of this article is subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

(3) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this article, this section is not intended to affect any civil remedies otherwise provided by law for personal injury or for property damage, including any damage to subsurface installations, nor is this section intended to create any new civil remedies for those injuries or that damage.

(4) This article shall not be construed to limit any other provision of law granting governmental immunity to state or local agencies or to impose any liability or duty of care not otherwise imposed by law upon any state or local agency.

(b) An action may be brought by the Attorney General, the district attorney, or the local or state agency that issued the permit to excavate, for the enforcement of the civil penalty pursuant to this section in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California. If penalties are collected as a result of a civil suit brought by a state or local agency for collection of those civil penalties, the penalties imposed shall be paid to the general fund of the agency. If more than one agency is involved in enforcement, the penalties imposed shall be apportioned among them by the court in a manner that will fairly offset the relative costs incurred by the state or local agencies, or both, in collecting these fees.

(c) This article may also be enforced by the following agencies, either following a recommendation of the Dig Safe Board that the agency shall act to accept, amend, or reject, or through the agency’s own investigations, as follows:

(1) The Registrar of Contractors of the Contractors’ State License Board shall enforce this article on contractors, as defined in Article 2 (commencing with Section 7025) of Chapter 9 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, and telephone corporations, as defined in Section 234 of the Public Utilities Code, when acting as a contractor, as defined in Article 2 (commencing with Section 7025) of Chapter 9 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code. Nothing in this section affects the Public Utilities Commission’s existing authority over a public utility.

(2) The Public Utilities Commission shall enforce this article on gas corporations, as defined in Section 222 of the Public Utilities Code, and electrical corporations, as defined in Section 218 of the Public Utilities Code, and water corporations, as defined in Section 241 of the Public Utilities Code.

(3) The Office of the State Fire Marshal shall enforce this article on operators of hazardous liquid pipeline facilities, as defined in Section 60101 of Chapter 601 of Subtitle VIII of Title 49 of the United States Code.

(d) A local governing board may enforce this article on local agencies under the governing board’s jurisdiction.

(e) Commencing July 1, 2020, the Dig Safe Board shall enforce this article on persons other than those listed in subdivisions (c) and (d). The board shall not initiate an enforcement action pursuant to this subdivision for a violation that occurred prior to July 1, 2020. As the enforcing body for persons other than those listed in subdivisions (c) and (d), the board may collect any monetary penalties imposed upon those persons.

(f) Moneys collected as a result of penalties imposed pursuant to subdivisions (c) and (e) shall be deposited into the Safe Energy Infrastructure and Excavation Fund.

(g) Statewide information provided by operators and excavators regarding incident events shall be compiled and made available in an annual report by regional notification centers and posted on the internet websites of the regional notification centers and shall be made available to the board upon request.

(h) For purposes of subdivision (g), the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) “Incident event” means the occurrence of excavator downtime, damages, near misses, and violations.

(2) “Statewide information” means information submitted by operators and excavators using the California Regional Common Ground Alliance’s Virtual Private Damage Information Reporting Tool. Supplied data shall comply with the Damage Information Reporting Tool’s minimum essential information as listed in the most recent version of the Best Practices guide of the Common Ground Alliance.

(Amended by Stats. 2020, Ch. 307, Sec. 6. (SB 865) Effective January 1, 2021.)