The United States Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has proposed a new rule that will directly affect utility and excavation contractors. The proposed rule would establish the following:
- Criteria and an administrative process to determine the adequacy of a state’s excavation damage prevention law enforcement program
- Federal requirements that PHMSA will enforce against excavators in states determined to have inadequate damage prevention enforcement programs
- An enforcement process to impose federal fines and penalties for violations
In addition to these new procedures, the rule would address a congressional directive requiring PHMSA to put into place a procedure for evaluating state damage prevention enforcement programs. PHMSA is legally obligated to establish these criteria before they can conduct any federal enforcement proceedings in a state where an excavator damages a pipeline.
To access the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking please click here. To submit official comments, please visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal by clicking here or send comments via fax to (202) 493-2251. All comments are due by June 1st.