Past California Law & Changes

View Latest CA Government Code 4216

Important changes effective January 1st 2021

4216.2 (f)

(f) A record of all notifications by an excavator or operator to the regional notification center shall be maintained for a period of not less than three years. The record shall be available for inspection by the excavator and any member, or their representative, during normal working hours and according to guidelines for inspection as may be established by the regional notification centers. A regional notification center shall provide notification records to the board quarterly and shall provide notifications of damage to the board within five business days of receipt at the regional notification center.

4216.3 (a) (5)

(5) Commencing January 1, 2023, all new subsurface installations shall be mapped using a geographic information system and maintained as permanent records of the operator. This paragraph shall not apply to oil and gas flowlines three inches or less in diameter that are located within the administrative boundaries of an oil field as designated by the Geologic Energy Management Division. For purposes of this paragraph, the following terms have the following meanings: (A) “Flowline” means any pipeline that connects an oil, gas, or natural gas liquids well with a gathering line or header. (B) “Gathering line” means a pipeline that transports liquid hydrocarbons between any of the following: multiple wells, a testing facility, a treating and production facility, a storage facility, or a custody transfer facility. (C) “Header” means a chamber from which liquid or gas is distributed to or from smaller pipelines. (6) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to preempt the Professional Land Surveyors’ Act, as described in Chapter 15 (commencing with Section 8700) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code.

4216.4 (c)

(c) (1) An excavator discovering or causing damage to a subsurface installation, including all breaks, leaks, nicks, dents, gouges, grooves, or other damage to subsurface installation lines, conduits, coatings, or cathodic protection, shall immediately notify the subsurface installation operator. The excavator may contact the regional notification center to obtain the contact information of the subsurface installation operator. If the operator is unknown and the damage or discovery of damage occurs outside the working hours of the regional notification center, the excavator may follow the instructions provided by the regional notification center through its internet website or the telephone line recorded message. (2) An excavator shall call 911 emergency services upon discovering or causing damage to either of the following: (A) A gas or hazardous liquid pipeline subsurface installation in which the damage results in the escape of any flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas or liquid. (B) A high priority subsurface installation of any kind. (3) An excavator discovering or causing damage shall notify the regional notification center within 48 hours of discovering or causing the damage. (4) Nothing in this section preempts or impedes the board’s authority to impose more restrictive notification windows.

4216.6 (c) (d) (e) & (g)

(c) This article may also be enforced by the following agencies, either following a recommendation of the Underground Safety Board that the agency shall act to accept, amend, or reject, or through the agency’s own investigations, as follows: (1) The Registrar of Contractors of the Contractors’ State License Board shall enforce this article on contractors, as defined in Article 2 (commencing with Section 7025) of Chapter 9 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, and telephone corporations, as defined in Section 234 of the Public Utilities Code, when acting as a contractor, as defined in Article 2 (commencing with Section 7025) of Chapter 9 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code. Nothing in this section affects the Public Utilities Commission’s existing authority over a public utility. (2) The Public Utilities Commission shall enforce this article on gas corporations, as defined in Section 222 of the Public Utilities Code, and electrical corporations, as defined in Section 218 of the Public Utilities Code, and water corporations, as defined in Section 241 of the Public Utilities Code. (3) The Office of the State Fire Marshal shall enforce this article on operators of hazardous liquid pipeline facilities, as defined in Section 60101 of Chapter 601 of Subtitle VIII of Title 49 of the United States Code. (d) A local governing board may enforce this article on local agencies under the governing board’s jurisdiction. (e) Commencing July 1, 2020, the Underground Safety Board shall enforce this article on persons other than those listed in subdivisions (c) and (d). The board shall not initiate an enforcement action pursuant to this subdivision for a violation that occurred prior to July 1, 2020. As the enforcing body for persons other than those listed in subdivisions (c) and (d), the board may collect any monetary penalties imposed upon those persons. (g) Statewide information provided by operators and excavators regarding incident events shall be compiled and made available in an annual report by regional notification centers and posted on the internet websites of the regional notification centers and shall be made available to the board upon request.

4216.12

(a) The Underground Safety Board is hereby created under, and shall be assisted by the staff of, the Office of the State Fire Marshal until January 1, 2022. On and after January 1, 2022, the board shall be within the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety within the Natural Resources Agency pursuant to Part 7.3 (commencing with Section 15470) of Division 3 of Title 2. (b) The board shall perform the following tasks: (1) Coordinate education and outreach activities that encourage safe excavation practices, as described in Section 4216.17. (2) Develop standards, as described in Section 4216.18. (3) Investigate possible violations of this article, as described in Section 4216.19. (4) Enforce this article to the extent authorized by subdivision (e) of Section 4216.6. (c) Notwithstanding any other law, on and after January 1, 2020, the board shall be subject to review by the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature at least once every three years.

4216.17

(a) The board shall annually convene a meeting for the following purposes: (1) To understand the existing needs for education and outreach, including to those groups with the highest awareness and education needs, including, but not limited to, homeowners. (2) To facilitate discussion on how to coordinate existing education and outreach efforts with state and local government agencies, California operators, regional notification centers, and trade associations that fund outreach and education programs that encourage safe excavation practices. (b) In addition to state and local government agencies, California operators, regional notification centers, and trade associations that fund outreach and education programs that encourage safe excavation practices, the meeting pursuant to subdivision (a) shall include representatives of groups that may be the target of those outreach and education efforts. (c) For violations that are neither egregious nor persistent, the board shall offer violators the option of completing an educational course in lieu of paying a fine. To develop the programming for the educational option, the board may contract with a third party or create the curriculum itself. (d) Upon appropriation by the Legislature, moneys in the Safe Energy Infrastructure and Excavation Fund shall be available to the board to fund the educational course developed pursuant to subdivision (c).


Important changes effective January 1st 2020

4216.3 (c), 4216.3 (d), 4216.3 (e), 4216.3 (f)
  • (c) (1) (A) On and after January 1, 2021, every operator shall supply an electronic positive response through the regional notification center before the legal excavation start date and time. Upon a showing of good cause by an operator, the board may extend the time by which the operator is required to comply with this requirement. The board shall not grant an extension beyond December 31, 2021. The board shall determine which facts or circumstances constitute good cause.
  • (B) The regional notification center shall make the responses required by subparagraph (A) available to the excavator.
  • (2) The regional notification centers shall annually report to the board regarding their continual technological development in their roles of facilitating communication between excavators and operators in a manner that enhances safety, accountability, and efficiency.
  • (d) (1) On or before January 1, 2021, the board shall adopt regulations to implement subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c). The initial adoption, amendment, or repeal of a regulation authorized by this section is deemed to address an emergency, for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and 11349.6, and the board is hereby exempted for that purpose from the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 11346.1. After the initial adoption, amendment, or repeal of an emergency regulation pursuant to this section, the board shall not request approval from the Office of Administrative Law to readopt the regulation as an emergency regulation pursuant to Section 11346.1.
  • (2) It is the intent of the Legislature, in authorizing the deviations in this section from the requirements and procedures of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2, to authorize the board to expedite the exercise of its power to implement regulations as its unique operational circumstances require.
  • (e) The excavator shall notify the appropriate regional notification center of the failure of an operator to identify subsurface installations pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), or subdivision (b). The notification shall include the ticket issued by the regional notification center. A record of all notifications received pursuant to this subdivision shall be maintained by the regional notification center for a period of not less than three years. The record shall be available for inspection pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 4216.2.
  • (f) If an operator or local agency knows that it has a subsurface installation embedded or partially embedded in the pavement that is not visible from the surface, the operator or local agency shall contact the excavator before pavement removal to communicate and determine a plan of action to protect that subsurface installation and excavator.

Important changes effective July 1st 2018

  • The board shall investigate possible violations of this article. (4216.19(a))

Important changes effective Jan 1st 2018

  • Members may supply an electronic positive response through the regional notification center before the legal excavation start date and time. The regional notification center shall make those responses available to the excavator. (4216.3 (b))

Important changes & highlights effective Jan 1st 2017

  • Delineation of the proposed excavation site is now mandatory. (4216.2(a) & 4216 Definitions (d))
  • Members can, at their own discretion, choose not to locate and field mark until the area to be excavated has been delineated. (4216.2(a))
  • Contact DigAlert at least two (2) working days NOT including the date of notification (4216.2(b)) prior to digging.
  • Any temporary marking placed at the planned excavation location shall be clearly seen, functional, and considerate to surface aesthetics and the local community. An excavator shall check if any local ordinances apply to the placement of temporary markings. (4216.2(d))
  • Working day is defined as a weekday (M - F) from 7:00 am to 5 :00 pm, except for federal and state holidays as defined in Section 19853, or as otherwise posted on the Internet Web Site of the regional notification center. (4216 Definitions (v))
  • Excavations shall not begin until the excavator receives a response from all known members within the delineated boundaries. (4216.2(g))
  • If a ticket obtained by an excavator expires but work is ongoing, the excavator shall call into the regional notification center and get a new ticket and wait a minimum of two working days, not including the date of call in, before restarting excavation. All excavation shall cease during the waiting period.(4216.2(i))
  • An operator shall indicate with an "A" inside a circle the presence of any abandoned subsurface installations, if known, within the delineated area. The markings are to make an excavator aware that there are abandoned subsurface installations within that delineated work area.(4216.3(a)(1)(A)(iii)(C))
  • If the field marks are no longer reasonably visible, an excavator shall renotify the regional notification center with a request for remarks that can be for all or a portion of the excavation. Excavation shall cease in the area to be remarked. If the delineation markings are no longer reasonably visible, the excavator shall redelineate the area to be remarked. If remarks are requested, the operator shall have two working days, not including the date of request, to remark the subsurface installation. If the area to be remarked is not the full extent of the original excavation, the excavator shall delineate the portion to be remarked and provide a description of the area requested to be remarked on the ticket. The excavator shall provide a description for the area to be remarked that falls within the area of the original location request. (42216.3(b))
  • The Law requires you to hand expose to the point of no conflict 24" on either side of the underground facility, so you know its exact location before using power equipment. (4216.4(a)(1))
  • Your permit for digging will not be valid without a ticket number. (4216.9(a))
  • The Underground Safety Board is hereby created under, and shall be assisted by the staff of, the Office of the State Fire Marshal. (4216.12(a))