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.