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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities and Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 309. Rules for Enforcement of the Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act
10/30/2020

20VAC5-309-140. Excavator's Responsibilities to Avoid Damage, Dislocating or Disturbances of Utility Lines.

Any person excavating around underground utility lines shall take all reasonable steps to protect such utility lines. These steps shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. The excavator shall plan the excavation in such a manner to avoid damage to, and minimize interference with, underground utility lines in and near the construction area;

2. The excavator shall expose the underground utility line to its extremities by hand digging within the excavation area when excavation is expected to come within two feet of the marked location of the underground utility line;

3. The excavator shall not utilize mechanized equipment within two feet of the extremities of all exposed utility lines;

4. The excavator shall maintain a reasonable clearance, to include the width of the utility line, if known, plus 24 inches, between the marked or staked location of an underground utility line and the cutting edge or point of any mechanized equipment, considering the known limit of control of the cutting edge or point to avoid damage to the utility line; and

5. The excavator shall provide proper support for underground utility lines during excavation activities. During backfill operations, the excavator shall use the same or similar backfill material that was originally around the utility line, ensure there is proper compaction around the utility line, protect all tracer wires, and protect or replace warning tapes.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-265.30 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 17, Issue 09, eff. July 1, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 2001; Volume 20, Issue 15, eff. March 12, 2004.

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