Long Sought Underground Utility Safety Legislation Introduced into NC Legislature

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After years of advocating for  comprehensive changes to North Carolina’s underground utility safety/call 811  law, Carolinas AGC (CAGC) working with a coalition of underground safety  stakeholders hammered out compromise legislation, which was introduced into the NC Legislature on March 28.

The legislation, sponsored by Representative Mike Hager (R), Dist. 112, Burke/Rutherford,  Tim Moffitt, (R), Dist. 116, Buncombe and Tom Murry, (R), Dist. 41, Wake, will bring clarity  and accountability to NC’s 811 process once passed.  The bill still has to  make it through the House, Senate and on to the Governor’s desk to be enacted,  but, “this is truly a milestone in our ongoing efforts” stated Allen Gray, CAGC Utility Div, Director and Lobbyist.

Gray Chaired the Underground  Safety Stakeholder Group, which was convened under the leadership of Rep. Hager  to develop the compromise legislation.  The group is made up of a diverse  cross-section of underground safety stakeholders.  NC’s current underground safety law is one of the  oldest, weakest in the nation; lacking even the most basic elements necessary  to be considered effective by the  USDOTD’s Pipelline Safety and Hazardous Material Administration and Common Ground Alliance.   “I’m cautiously optimistic, because we have  been close before.  We still have work to do and must contact our  legislators to ensure this legislation is enacted,” states Brad Barringer, CEO  BRS, Inc.,  “If  enacted this will culminate many years of effort by the construction industry  and associated industries to ensure public/workforce safety and the integrity  of vital facilities, through comprehensive safety and damage prevention  legislation.”

The introduction of this  legislation comes on the heels of South Carolina’s underground safety legislation  going into affect on June 7, 2012.  Legislation in SC was introduced by  CAGC, and a similar coalition lead by CAGC lead to its passage and subsequent  enactment.  Read More.