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RULE §18.1Scope, Applicability, and General Provisions

(a) This chapter implements the authority of the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) under Texas Natural Resources Code, §117.012, Texas Utilities Code, §121.201, and Texas Health and Safety Code, §756.126. Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, this chapter applies to all persons engaged in or preparing to engage in the movement of earth in the vicinity of an underground pipeline containing flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas, a hazardous liquid, or carbon dioxide.

(b) The requirements of this chapter are based on the presumption that an excavator will notify a notification center pursuant to, and that a pipeline operator will respond in accordance with, the provisions of Texas Utilities Code, Chapter 251, and the requirements of the notification center. However, compliance with the provisions of Texas Utilities Code, Chapter 251, and the requirements of a notification center does not necessarily constitute compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

(c) Persons that are exempt from the provisions of Texas Utilities Code, Chapter 251, are required to comply with this chapter, unless the person is exempt under the subsection (d) of this section.

(d) This chapter does not apply to:

  (1) the exemptions in Texas Utilities Code, §251.003;

  (2) the movement of earth that does not exceed a depth of 16 inches;

  (3) surface mining operations;

  (4) the following activities when performed by an employee of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) within TxDOT right-of-way:

    (A) sampling and repair of pavement, base, and subgrade;

    (B) repair of roadway embankment adjacent to pavement structure;

    (C) reshaping of unpaved shoulders and drop-offs;

    (D) installation and maintenance of guardrails, cable barriers, delineators, vehicle attenuators, sign posts, mailboxes, and cables for traffic signals and luminaries;

    (E) cleaning of ditches; and

    (F) removal of silt from culverts; or

  (5) hand digging by an employee or contractor of TxDOT for TxDOT's archeological program.

(e) This chapter also applies to movement of earth by tillage that exceeds a depth of 16 inches.

(f) Unless otherwise specified, all time periods used in this chapter shall be calculated from the time the original notification is given to the notification center.

(g) Unless otherwise specified, all time periods that are stated in days shall mean working days.

(h) Unless an excavator and an operator otherwise expressly agree in accordance with the requirements set forth in §18.3 of this title, relating to Excavator Notice to Notification Center, the life of a line locate ticket shall be 14 days.

(i) Unless otherwise expressly stated in this chapter, each excavator and each operator shall retain required records for at least four years. At a minimum, each operator and each excavator shall retain locate tickets and positive response notifications. Retention at a notification center is an acceptable method of retention for locate tickets.

Source Note: The provisions of this §18.1 adopted to be effective September 1, 2007, 32 TexReg 3545; amended to be effective February 12, 2018, 43 TexReg 756

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