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Comprehensive One-Call Notification Act of 1994 : hearing before the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, September 22, 1994 online

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COMPREHENSIVE ON&CALL NOTIFICATION

ACT OF 1994



(103-81)

Y4.P 96/11:103-81

Conprehensive Dne-Call Motification

JUNG

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON

PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION

HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



SEPTEMBER 22, 1994



Printed for the use of the
Committee on Public Works and Transportation










■&N 2



6 1



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
84-479 WASHINGTON : 1994



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-046247-9



COMPREHENSIVE ONE-CALL NOTIFICATION

ACT OF 1994



(103-81)

Y4.P 96/11:103-81

Conprehensive One-Call Notification

-RING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON

PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



SEPTEMBER 22, 1994



Printed for the use of the
Committee on Public Works and Transportation







"'<?£



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
84 "^ 79 WASHINGTON : 1994



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents. Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-046247-9



COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION



NORMAN Y. MINETA, California, Chair



JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota

NICK J. RAHALL, II, West Virginia

DOUGLAS APPLEGATE, Ohio

RON de LUGO, Virgin Islands

ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania

TIM VALENTINE, North Carolina

WILLIAM O. LIPINSKI, Illinois

ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia

JAMES A. TRAFICANT, Jr., Ohio

PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon

JAMES A. HAYES, Louisiana

BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee

JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois

MIKE PARKER, Mississippi

GREG LAUGHLIN, Texas

PETE GEREN, Texas

GEORGE E. SANGMEISTER, Illinois

GLENN POSHARD, Illinois

DICK SWETT, New Hampshire

BUD CRAMER, Alabama

BARBARA-ROSE COLLINS, Michigan

ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of

Columbia
LUCIEN E. BLACKWELL, Pennsylvania
JERROLD NADLER, New York
SAM COPPERSMITH, Arizona
LESLIE L. BYRNE, Virginia
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
PAT DANNER, Missouri
KAREN SHEPHERD, Utah
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
JAMES E. CLYBURN, South Carolina
CORRINE BROWN, Florida
NATHAN DEAL, Georgia
JAMES A. BARCIA, Michigan
DAN HAMBURG, California
BOB FILNER, California
WALTER R. TUCKER III, California
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas
PETER W. BARCA, Wisconsin



BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania

WILLIAM F. CLINGER, Jr., Pennsylvania

THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin

SHERWOOD L. BOEHLERT, New York

JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma

BILL EMERSON, Missouri

JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee

SUSAN MOLINARI, New York

WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, Jr., New Hampshire

THOMAS W. EWING, Illinois

WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland

JENNIFER DUNN, Washington

Y. TIM HUTCHINSON, Arkansas

BILL BAKER, California

MICHAEL A. "MAC" COLLINS, Georgia

JAY KIM, California

DAVID A. LEVY, New York

STEPHEN HORN, California

BOB FRANKS, New Jersey

PETER I. BLUTE, Massachusetts

HOWARD P. "BUCK" McKEON, California

JOHN L. MICA, Florida

PETER HOEKSTRA, Michigan

JACK QUINN, New York

VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan



(II)



Ill



Subcommittee on Surface Transportation



NICK J. RAHALL II,

TIM VALENTINE, North Carolina,

Vice Chair
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois
GREG LAUGHLIN, Texas
GLENN POSHARD, Illinois
DICK SWETT, New Hampshire
BUD CRAMER, Alabama
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon
JERROLD NADLER, New York
LESLIE L. BYRNE, Virginia
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
PAT DANNER, Missouri
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
JAMES E. CLYBURN, South Carolina
DAN HAMBURG, California
WALTER R. TUCKER III, California
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas
DOUGLAS APPLEGATE, Ohio
RON de LUGO, Virgin Islands
WILLIAM O. LIPINSKI, Illinois
JAMES A. TRAFICANT, Jr., Ohio
PETER W. BARCA, Wisconsin
NORMAN Y. MINETA, California (Ex Officio)



West Virginia, Chair

THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin

WILLIAM F. CLINGER, Jr., Pennsylvania

BILL EMERSON, Missouri

WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, Jr., New Hampshire

JENNIFER DUNN, Washington

Y. TIM HUTCHINSON, Arkansas

BILL BAKER, California

MICHAEL A. "MAC" COLLINS, Georgia

JAY KIM, California

DAVID A. LEVY, New York

BOB FRANKS, New Jersey

PETER I. BLUTE, Massachusetts

HOWARD P. "BUCK" McKEON, California

VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan

BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania (Ex Officio)



CONTENTS



Page

H.R. 4394 (Text) V

TESTIMONY

Franks, Hon. Bob, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey 3

Gainer, Walter, president, W.F. Wilson & Sons, Inc., Ellicott City, MD, on
behalf of the National Utility Contractors Association, Arlington, VA 30

Martin, James L., Director of State-Federal Relations, National Governors'
Association, Washington, DC 22

McNeil, David, vice president, technical services, Tenneco Gas, Houston, TX,
on behalf of Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) and
American Gas Association (AGA) 30

Pallone, Hon. Frank, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey 3

Sharma, Dr. D.K., Administrator, Research and Special Programs Adminis-
tration (RSPA) on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation, accom-
panied by George W. Tenley, Jr., Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safe-
ty, RSPA ., 8

Thomas, Larry, president, BP Oil Pipeline Co., Cleveland, OH, and chairman,
Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) 30

PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

Costello, Hon. Jerry, of Illinois 2

Laughlin, Hon. Greg, of Texas 2

PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY WITNESSES

Gainer, Walter 36

Martin, James L 45

McNeil, David 49

Sharma, Dr. D.K 55

Thomas, Larry 64

SUBMISSIONS FOR THE RECORD

Dr. D.K. Sharma, Administrator, Research and Special Programs Administra-
tion (RSPA), U.S. Department of Transportation:

Responses to post hearing questions from Representative Rahall 10

Responses to post hearing questions from Representative Petri 19

(V)



103d CONGRESS
2d Session



H. R. 4394



To provide for the establishment of mandatory State-operated comprehensive
one-call systems to protect natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines
and all other underground facilities from being damaged by any exca-
vations, and for other purposes.



IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 11, 1994
Mr. PALLONE introduced the following bill; which was referred jointly to the
Committees on Public Works and Transportation and Energy and Commerce



A BILL

To provide for the establishment of mandatory- State-oper-
ated comprehensive one-call systems to protect natural
gas and hazardous liquid pipelines and all other under-
ground facilities from being damaged by any excavations,
and for other purposes.

1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-

2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

4 This Act may be cited as the "Comprehensive One-

5 Call Notification Act of 1994".

6 SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

7 The Congress finds that —

(VII)



VIII

2

1 (1) since the 1950s, steadily increasing develop-

2 ment of infrastructure has resulted in the construc-

3 tion of underground facilities throughout the United

4 States, including natural gas pipelines, hazardous

5 liquid pipelines, water pipelines, steam pipelines,

6 telephone lines, electric lines, fiber optic lines, cable

7 television lines, sewer pipelines, and dedicated traffic

8 control, emergency communication, and alarm lines;

9 (2) these underground facilities offer a safe and

10 economical means of providing essential services to

1 1 the public;

12 (3) the vast majority of accidents involving

13 these facilities are caused by nearby excavation,

14 demolition, or tunneling activities, known as third-

15 party damage;

16 (4) accidents resulting from third-party damage

17 present an unnecessary risk to public safety and the

1 8 environment;

19 (5) costs arising from third-party damage are

20 ultimately paid by consumers;

21 (6) in the case of interstate facilities, consumers

22 in one State may pay for damages incurred in an-

23 other State;

24 (7) to prevent third-party damage, the owners

25 of some underground facilities have initiated one-call

•HR 4394 IH



IX

3

1 (or "call before you dig") programs, and some

2 States have mandated one-call programs, although

3 the scope and effectiveness of these programs is in-

4 consistent;

5 (8) to maximize the effectiveness of one-call

6 programs, national standards are needed;

7 (9) these standards should apply, without ex-

8 ception, to all excavation near any underground fa-

9 cilities; and

10 (10) these standards should produce one-call

11 systems which are simple to use, with a single tele-

12 phone number established which excavators must

1 3 call to obtain information on the location of any type

14 of underground facility anywhere in the United

15 States.

16 SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

17 For purposes of this Act, the term —

18 (1) "damage" means any impact or contact

19 with an underground facility, its appurtenances, or

20 its protective coating, or weakening of the support

21 for the facility or protective housing, which requires

22 repair;

23 (2) "excavation" means any operation in which

24 earth, rock, or other material in the ground is

25 moved, removed, or otherwise displaced by means of

•HR 4394 IH



4

1 any tools, equipment, or explosive, and includes,

2 without limitation, grading, boring, milling, trench-

3 ing, tunneling, scraping, tree and root removal, cable

4 or pipe plowing, pile driving, wrecking, razing, rend-

5 ing, or removing any structure or mass material, but

6 shall not include the tilling of soil for agricultural

7 purposes to a depth of 18 inches or less;

8 (3) "facility operator" means any person who

9 owns or operates an underground facility, except for

10 any person who is the owner of real property where-

11 in are located underground facilities for the purpose

12 of furnishing services or materials only to himself or

13 occupants of such property;

14 (4) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Trans-

15 portation; and

16 (5) "underground facility" means any under-

17 ground line, system, or structure used for producing,

18 gathering, storing, conveying, transmitting, or dis-

19 tributing natural gas, hazardous liquids, communica-

20 tion, electricity, petroleum, petroleum products,

21 water, steam, sewerage, or any other commodities

22 the Secretary determines to be similar and appro-

23 priate.



• UK 4394 IH



XI

5

1 SEC. 4. NATIONWIDE DEDICATED NUMBER.

2 Within 1 vear after the date of enactment of this Act,

3 the Federal Communications Commission shall establish

4 a nationwide dedicated telephone number to be used by

5 local or regional underground facility location services,

6 and by one-call systems established pursuant to this Act.

7 SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF STATE ONE-CALL SYSTEMS.

8 (a) Requirement. — Each State shall, within 3 years

9 after the date of enactment of this Act, establish a com-

10 prehensive statewide one-call notification system, in ac-

1 1 cordance with this Act, to protect all underground facili-

12 ties from damage due to anv excavation.

13 (b) State Sanctions for Nonparticipation. —

14 The Secretary may impose a prohibition, applicable to a

15 State that does not comply with subsection (a), on the ap-

16 proval of any projects or the awarding of any grants under

17 title 23, United States Code, other than projects or grants

18 for safety where the Secretary- determines, based on acci-

19 dent or other appropriate data submitted by the State,

20 that the principal purpose of the project is an improve-

21 ment in safety to resolve a demonstrated safety problem

22 and likely will result in a significant reduction in, or avoid-

23 ance of, accidents.

24 SEC. 6. ELEMENTS OF SYSTEM.

25 Each State one-call system established under section

26 5(a) shall—

•HR 4394 IH



XII

6

1 (1) have a designated system operator;

2 (2) operate in all areas of the State containing

3 underground facilities;

4 (3) apply to all excavations and to all under-

5 ground facility operators, except as provided by this

6 Act;

7 (4) employ mechanisms, such as the issuance of

8 excavation or building permits, to ensure that the

9 general public, and in particular all excavators, are

10 aware of the one-call telephone number and the re-

11 quirements and penalties of the State system relat-

12 ing to excavations;

13 (5) require that any person conducting an exca-

14 vation must contact the one-call system at least 3

15 business days, and not more than 10 business days,

16 before excavation begins;

17 (6) receive and record appropriate information

18 from excavators about intended excavations,

19 including —

20 (A) the name of the person contacting the

21 one-call system;

22 (B) the name, address, and telephone num-

23 ber of the excavator; and

24 (C) the specific location of the intended ex-

25 cavation, along with the starting date thereof

• UK 4394 IH



XIII

7

1 and a description of the intended excavation ac-

2 tivity;

3 (7) inform excavators of the identity of facility

4 operators who will be notified of the intended exca-

5 vation;

6 (8) inform excavators of any procedures that

7 the State has determined must be followed when ex-

8 cavating;

9 (9) inform facility operators of any intended ex-

10 cavations that may be in the vicinity of their under-

1 1 ground facilities;

12 (10) require facility operators to locate and

13 mark, in accordance with standards established by

14 the State, their underground facilities in the vicinity

15 of an intended excavation within no more than 3

16 business days after notification of such intended ex-

17 cavation, and to supervise such excavation as nec-

1 8 essarv:

•/ 7

19 (11) provide for penalties and enforcement as

20 described in section 7;

21 (12) maintain records on each notice of intent

22 to excavate for at least 7 vears:

%/ 7

23 (13) establish procedures to promote the timely

24 acquisition of information on previously unknown

25 underground facility locations;

♦HK 4394 IH



XIV

8

1 (14) provide for an appropriate waiver of timely.

2 compliance with system requirements in emergency

3 circumstances in which public safety is endangered,

4 as long as the one-call system is notified at the earli-

5 est practicable time;

6 (15) establish an appropriate schedule of fees to

7 be imposed on facility operators to cover the costs of

8 establishing, maintaining, and operating the one-call

9 system; and

10 (16) provide an opportunity for citizen suits to

1 1 enforce the requirements of this section.

12 SEC. 7. PENALTIES AND ENFORCEMENT.

13 (a) General Penalties. — Each State one-call sys-

14 tern established under section 5(a) shall provide that any

15 excavator or facility operator who violates the require-

16 ments of the system shall be liable for a civil penalty of

17 not more than $25,000 for each violation for each day that

18 violation persists, except that the maximum civil penalty

19 shall not exceed $500,000 for any related series of viola-

20 tions and the minimum civil penalty for a violation shall

21 be not less than $250.

22 (b) Increased Penalties. — If a violation results in

23 damage to an underground facility resulting in death, seri-

24 ous bodily harm, or actual damage to property exceeding

25 $50,000, or damage to an underground hazardous liquid

•HR 4394 IH



XV

9

1 pipeline facility resulting in the release of more than 50

2 barrels of product, the penalties may be increased, and

3 an additional penalty of imprisonment may be assessed.

4 (c) Decreased Penalties. — A State one-call sys-

5 tern may provide for reduced penalties for a violation, that

6 results in or could result in damage, that is promptly re-

7 ported by the violator.

8 (d) Injunctive Relief. — Each State one-call sys-

9 tern shall provide for appropriate injunctive relief.

10 (e) Revocation of License. — Each State one-call

1 1 system shall include procedures for the revocation of a li-

12 cense or permit to do business of any excavator deter-

13 mined to be a habitual violator of the requirements of the

14 system.

15 (f) Immediate Citation of Violations. — A State

16 one-call system may include procedures for issuing a cita-

17 tion of violation at the site and time of the violation.

1 8 SEC. 8. department of transportation.

19 (a) Coordination With Other Responsibil-

20 ities. — The Secretary shall coordinate the implementa-

21 tion of this Act with the implementation of the Natural

22 Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 and the Hazardous Liq-

23 uid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979.

24 (b) Model Program. — Within 1 year after the date

25 of enactment of this Act, the Office of Pipeline Safety of



•HR 4394 IH

i'



XVI

10

1 the Department of Transportation shall draft and make

2 available to States a model one-call system program, along

3 with such additional guidance as the Secretary considers

4 appropriate, to assist the States in complying with this

5 Act. Such model program may be amended in response

6 to reports submitted by the States pursuant to section 10.

7 (c) Public Education. — The Secretary shall de-

8 velop public service announcements to be broadcast or

9 published to educate the public about one-call notification

10 systems, including the national phone number.

1 1 SEC. 9. ALTERNATE FORM OF SYSTEM.

12 A State that wishes to establish or maintain a one-

13 call system that differs from the requirements of this Act

14 may petition the Secretary for approval of such system.

15 The Secretary shall approve such a petition within 1

16 month after receipt of the petition, if the proposed system

17 is at least as protective of the public health and safety

18 as a system described in this Act. The Secretary shall in-

19 form a State of the reasons for the denial of a petition

20 under this section.

21 SEC. 10. STATE REPORTS.

22 Within 54 months after the date of enactment of this

23 Act, and annually thereafter each State shall report to

24 Congress and the Office of Pipeline Safety of the Depart-

25 ment of Transportation on the status of their one-call no-

•HR 4394 IH



XVII

11

1 tification system and its requirements. The report shall

2 contain data on the operation and effectiveness of the one-

3 call system including —

4 (1) the status of its law establishing the one-

5 call system;

6 (2) the number of notification requests received

7 annually;

8 (3) the effectiveness of the method of under-

9 ground facility marking required;

10 (4) the degree of excavator compliance;

11 (5) the number of incidents where underground

12 facilities were damaged and the type of damage to

13 such facilities;

14 (6) the number of deaths and injuries and the

15 estimate amount of property loss resulting from

16 damage to underground facilities;

17 (7) the extent to which all underground facili-

18 ties participate; and

19 (8) any other relevant information.

o



•HR 4394 IH



84-479 - 94 - 2



THE COMPREHENSIVE ONE-CALL
NOTIFICATION ACT OF 1994



thursday, september 22, 1994

House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Surface Transportation,
Committee on Public Works and Transportation,

Washington, DC.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:11 a.m., in room
2167, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Nick Joe Rahall II
(chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Mr. Rahall. The subcommittee will come to order.

The Subcommittee on Surface Transportation is meeting today to
hold a hearing on H.R. 4394, the Comprehensive One-Call Notifica-
tion Act of 1994, introduced by our colleague, Representative Frank
Pallone of New Jersey.

The purpose of this bill is to advance the establishment of uni-
form and comprehensive one-call systems among the states through
which excavators can be appraised of the location of underground
facilities such as natural gas pipelines.

The Committee on Energy and Commerce, which shares jurisdic-
tion over H.R. 4394, has ordered the bill reported with an amend-
ment in the nature of a substitute. While this substitute fine tuned
the introduced version of the bill, it raised other concerns which I
understand are currently being worked out by the two committees
of jurisdiction, with input from interested parties.

I do not anticipate there being any problems in this endeavor
and have scheduled a subcommittee markup next Tuesday with full
committee consideration the following day.

With that, I will be glad to recognize our Ranking Minority Mem-
ber, Mr. Petri.

Mr. Petri. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

As you have noted, we are meeting this morning to receive testi-
mony on H.R. 4394, the Comprehensive One-Call Notification Act.
The intent of this legislation is to encourage the establishment in
all States of comprehensive one-call systems so that excavators can
call one convenient telephone number in order to determine the lo-
cation of underground facilities prior to digging.

In this way, accidents can be prevented from occurring, some of
which result in the loss of human lives, damage to property, harm
to the environment, and expensive repairs for the operator. Pipe-
lines carrying natural gas and hazardous liquids are of particular
concern.

Currently 49 states have some type of one-call system in place.
This legislation will encourage States to provide comprehensive

(l)



coverage, and to include certain elements in the program to im-
prove its effectiveness.

Over the years, we have seen that most accidents are caused by
third-party damage. Looking at natural gas pipelines only, even
though over 4 million locate requests are received nationwide,
about 40,000 incidents of third-party damage still occur each year.
In almost one half of those cases, the excavator did not inquire as
to the location of underground pipelines.

Fortunately, the vast majority of these incidents do not result in
loss of life or significant damage but cost to operators from third-
party damage can be high, over $17 million last year from natural
gas companies alone.

Certainly, it makes sense to take relatively simple steps to pre-
vent these accidents from occurring in the first place.

Mr. Chairman, I join you in welcoming our witnesses today, in-
cluding Dr. Sharma, who I understand will be officially sworn in
this afternoon as the Administrator of the Research and Special
Programs Administration at the Department of Transportation.

I also would like to commend two of our colleagues from New
Jersey — Congressman Pallone, a former member of this committee,
and Congressman Franks, a current member of this committee —
for diligently pursuing this legislation. We all remember the tragic
pipeline accident which occurred in Mr. Pallone's district last
March and which renewed interest in this issue. And we are happy
that you are pressing forward with it. Thank you for being here
today.

Mr. Rahall. The Chair asks unanimous consent to insert in the
record the opening statement by a Member of the Subcommittee,
Representative Greg Laughlin, in support of H.R. 4394. Without
objection, it will be made a part of the record.

[Mr. Laughlin's prepared statement follows:]

Prepared Statement of Greg Laughlin

Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I am happy to be here today to
speak in support of the Comprehensive One-Call Notification Act.

The primary responsibility of this legislation is gas pipeline safety.

I know that I do not have to remind anyone of the natural gas pipeline rupture
in New Jersey which caused an explosion so massive that it destroyed eight apart-
ment buildings and injured many people.

I wonder how many deaths and millions of dollars worth of damage might have
been prevented if this legislation had been enacted sooner.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 50 percent of all ruptures
in gas pipelines are due to what is termed as outside force damage.

The target of this legislation is to prevent outside force damage.

I support this legislation because it protects the safety of the public and secures
investments made on utility lines.

It all boils down to allowing a person to make one phone call to be sure that all
underground facilities are marked and the caller's safety, the safety of workers on
the site, and the safety of the public are assured.


1 3 4 5 6 7

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on PubliComprehensive One-Call Notification Act of 1994 : hearing before the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, September 22, 1994 → online text (page 1 of 7)