|(a) An excavator shall comply with the requirements
of §18.3 of this title, relating to Excavator Notice to Notification
Center. An excavator shall also comply with the requirements of Texas
Health & Safety Code, Subchapter H, relating to Construction Affecting
Pipeline Easements and Rights-of-Way, and shall plan an excavation
in such a manner as to avoid damage to and minimize interference with
all underground pipelines in the vicinity of the excavation area and
shall take all reasonable steps to protect underground pipelines from
(b) An excavator shall wait the time required by Texas
Utilities Code, Chapter 251, before beginning excavation.
(c) Prior to excavation, an excavator shall confirm
that a copy of a valid locate ticket for the location is in the possession
of the excavator's designated representative and can be obtained from
the representative or can be provided within one hour of a request
from the operator or the Commission.
(d) Prior to excavation, an excavator shall verify
that it is at the correct location as specified on the locate ticket;
shall verify white-lining; and, to the best of the excavator's ability,
shall make a visual check for any unmarked underground pipelines.
Checking for unmarked underground pipelines includes, but is not limited
to, looking for additional pipeline line markers, such as painted
fence post-type markers, aboveground pipeline valves, meter sets,
regulator stations, or rectifier units.
(e) An excavator shall not begin excavating until
a second notice is given to the notification center for the area if:
(1) the excavator has knowledge of the existence of
an underground pipeline and has received an "all clear" or a "no conflict"
response from an operator;
(2) the excavator observes clear evidence (such as
a line marker or an above-ground fixture) of the presence of an unmarked
underground pipeline in the area of the proposed excavation, and has
received an "all clear" or a "no conflict" response from an operator;
(3) there is no positive response for the excavation
(4) the positive response is unclear or obviously
erroneous (for example, for a different location or for a different
type of underground facility).
(f) If an excavator has given a second notice in accordance
with this section and there is no positive response within four hours,
the excavator may begin excavating.
(g) An excavator shall protect and preserve locate
markings from the time the excavator begins work until markings are
no longer required for the proper and safe excavation in the vicinity
of all underground pipelines.
(h) Each excavator that damages an underground pipeline
shall notify the operator of the damage through the notification center
at the earliest practical moment but not later than one hour following
the damage incident. An excavator that damages an underground pipeline
shall not cover the exposed pipeline without approval of the operator.