The Maine Public Utilities Commission has issued a Notice of Rulemaking (link will open Word) describing proposed changes to its “Underground Facility Damage Prevention Requirements” or “Dig Safe” Rule, Chapter 895.
The Dig Safe Rule is intended to ensure safe excavation of land and to prevent damage to underground utility facilities such as gas lines, water lines, telecommunications equipment and electric equipment. Owners of such facilities must locate and mark their underground facilities and any person planning to excavate land must make proper notifications to facility operators or utilities. Violations of Dig Safe laws and rules must be reported to the MPUC. The MPUC then investigates alleged violations and determines whether to penalize violators.
Among the changes proposed to the Dig Safe Rule are amendments to the definitions of several terms, changes to the pre-marking responsibilities of people excavating land, changes to the notification process, and decreased reporting time for suspected violations.
The proposed amendments to Chapter 895 may be found here (link will open Word document). A public hearing will be held on October 26, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. at the MPUC. The MPUC requests that comments be filed by October 20, 2010.