<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
RULE §18.4Excavator Obligation to Avoid Damage to Underground Pipelines

(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 damage.

(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 area; or

  (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.

Source Note: The provisions of this §18.4 adopted to be effective September 1, 2007, 32 TexReg 3545; amended to be effective February 12, 2018, 43 TexReg 756

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page