Administrative Code

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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

20VAC5-309-90. Emergency excavation or demolition.

A. No person shall serve an emergency locate request unless the work to be performed is in response to an "emergency," as the term is defined in § 56-265.15 of the Code of Virginia.

B. When excavation or demolition is required during an emergency as defined in § 56-265.15 of the Code of Virginia, all reasonable precautions shall be taken to protect underground utility lines that may be located at the site of the excavation. These precautions shall include the following:

1. Dispatched personnel or crews responding to the emergency shall notify the notification center by requesting an emergency locate of the underground utility lines at the earliest reasonable opportunity;

2. After arriving at the site, the person responding to the emergency shall determine the need for immediate action;

3. If immediate action is required, all reasonable precautions shall be taken to protect the underground utility lines. These actions shall include the following:

a. Conduct a thorough site assessment to determine the location of underground utility lines;

b. Locate the underground utility lines with acceptable equipment, if possible;

c. Hand dig around the underground utility lines;

d. Directly notify the utility line operators, if necessary; and

e. If prudent, the excavator shall wait for marking of the excavation area by operators having utility lines in the excavation area.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 9, eff. July 1, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 2001; Volume 29, Issue 4, eff. October 1, 2012; Volume 40, Issue 16, eff. April 1, 2024.

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