Alabama's Underground Damage Prevention Legislation was enacted in January 1995. The following link is a pdf of the act. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this document.
2011 Legislative Session Information:
Alabama 811 and its Board of Directors are participating in a group formed to discuss and improve damage prevention efforts across Alabama. This group, Alabama Damage Prevention Committee, meets on the 2nd Wednesday of even months at the Alabama Association of General Contractors Headquarters in Irondale, AL. The ADPC plans to take 2011 as a year to promote safe digging and gain grass roots support for improved measures.
During the 2011 session, Representative Ron Johnson has introduced legislation that could amend the current law. His bill is HB110:
HB110 has been amended to include a railroad exemption. HB110 specifies that if a non-member utility with an in-house program is damaged due to excavation activities, then the utility is responsible for the damages incurred if it is shown they were not in compliance with the provisions of the act regarding their in-house program.
The Alabama Damage Prevention Committee, which is representative of various stakeholders involved, has provided some additional amendments regarding this section which had been previously approved by the ADPC. These amendments do not directly impact any of the current damage prevention legislation but rather updates operational requirements regarding one call. The ADPC will continue to work on legislative changes to help improve the damage prevention efforts in Alabama.
A copy of the proposed legislation developed by the ADPC and an overview of the proposed changes to the current enacted legislation is available for download. If you should have any suggested changes or comments, please provide those in writing and submit to either:
3104 Bates Lane
2010 Legislative Session Information:
Alabama 811 and its Board of Directors have participated in a group formed to discuss and potentially improve damage prevention efforts across Alabama. This group, Alabama Damage Prevention Committee, has been meeting since last year and the focus the last several meetings concerned potential changes to the legislation.
The following is a summary of what is currently being addressed in the 2010 Legislative session:
HB187 and HB461 and associated Amendments have been submitted to the Alabama House in the 2010 session by Rep Ron Johnson. HB187 specifies that if a non-member utility with an in-house program is damaged due to excavation activities, that the utility is responsible for the damages incurred if it is shown they were not in compliance with the provisions of the act regarding their in-house program. In practicality it is no different than what the current law includes. HB461 includes the changes that were submitted by the Alabama Damage Prevention Committee
The Alabama Damage Prevention Committee, which is representative of the various stakeholders involved,has been working on this legislation and will continue to do some to help improve the damage prevention efforts in Alabama. This is just a starting point.
The legislation is scheduled to be heard in the Governmental Operations Committee on Wed, Feb 3rd at 9am.
2007 Legislative Session Information:
The 2007 proposed legislation died in committee pending a public hearing. There are currently no plans to reintroduce any draft legislation for 2008.
Apr/07... The legislation is still in the Senate in the Commerce, Transportation and Utilities Committee. No action has been taken on it yet. The legislation is out of session next week for spring break and will return the following week. It is expected to have a public hearing on SB302 the week of April 23rd. There is still the opposition as listed below. We are still working with the Electric Cities and the Electric Cooperatives to come to terms on the mandatory membership requirements. The Railroads, State DOT and County DOT are asking for the same exemptions that are in the current legislation to be added to the proposed legislation once again exempting them from having to call or participate if they have underground facilities.
We are asking that you contact the members of the Senate Committee and the House Committee to express your support of this legislation and express any concerns you may have on the requested exemptions.
The following is a list of the Committee Members and their contact information as well as a matrix of one call laws across the United States showing various requirements and exemptions.
Mar/07... The legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senator E. B. McClain and is listed as SB302. It is currently sitting in the Commerce, Transportation and Utilities committee. A public hearing was held on it on Thursday, March 29th where the following entities stated objections to the legislation: Electric Cities, Rural Electric Cooperatives, Railroad, State Highway Department and County Engineers. There was no vote on the legislation out of committee and another public hearing will be held and communicated to Alabama 811 in advance so we can have representation there to answer questions and support the legislation.
The legislation was also introduced in the House by Representative Ronald Grantland. It is listed in the House as HB480.
Feb/07...The legislative session for 2007 is slated to begin in March. Alabama 811 is currently working to obtain a sponsor to introduce our legislation. We continue to request your support and ask that you communicate your support to your appropriate legislative representatives. An overview of the proposed changes is available for download on the link at the bottom of this page.
2006 Legislative Session Information:
Jan/06...Alabama 811 has obtained a lobbyist to assist with our efforts to have the revisions to Alabama Act 94-487 introduced and hopefully passed during the 2006 session. We ask that all interested parties contact their legislators and ask for their support of this legislation as well as providing your company's support in lobbyist efforts.
Feb/06...Two versions of legislation for Underground Damage Prevention have been introduced in this 2006 session. The Senate version, SB 199, was an earlier draft and we are working to get the proper version introduced. The House version, HB 476, is the correct version.
Currently we have received one proposed amendment. It was submitted by the Electric Cities of Alabama Association and the Rural Electric Cooperative Association. This change edits Section 37-15-5 and states that "Operators who have of their underground facilities comprising the majority of their facilities within this state shall participate in the One Call Notification System." This amendment would eliminate the mandatory membership requirement which is a major area of non-compliance with the Common Ground Best Practices for reduction of damages to underground facilities. This amendment would also provide a major "out" to large underground facility owners to not have to protect their facilities through the one call process due to the majority wording. We ask that you contact your legislator and ask them to not support this amendment.
May/06...No action was taken on the legislation during 2006. The legislation will be reintroduced in 2007.