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PA One Call Law Update

PA One Call Law Update

We wanted to let you know that Rep. Godshall (R-Montgomery) has introduced House Bill 2308.

 

  • House Bill 2308 (Godshall-R) amending the Underground Utility Line Protection Law, further providing for expiration.  Specifically, it extends the sunset date of the PA One Call Law by one year until December 31, 2017.

 

  • Status:  House Consumer Affairs, 9/1/2016

 

The Underground Utility Protection Law (PA One Call) sunsets on December 31, 2016 unless extended by the General Assembly.  It requires the owners of underground lines to be notified and mark their lines prior to any excavation occurring within a certain radius of the lines.  This law is imperative in ensuring the safety of excavators and property owners and minimizing damage to underground lines.

 

It is my understanding that the House Consumer Affairs may consider House Bill 2308 at an upcoming meeting – possibly the week of September 19th.

 

In addition, Senate Bill 1235 (Baker-R) was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 14, 2016 and is expected to be considered, along with a couple of technical amendments, when the Senate returns to session the week of September 26th.

 

  • Senate Bill 1235 (Baker-R)  amending the Underground Utility Line Protection Law, extending the law’s sunset provision by 5-years, from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2021, and to transfer oversight to the PUC.  Moreover, it places duties on facility owners to maintain records of notice to the One Call System, verify where underground utility lines run in certain instances, report violations, and participate in One Call’s member mapping system.  A Damage Prevention Committee, including representatives from utilities, municipalities, authorities, and excavators, would also be established to review findings and recommendations, issue warning letters, and make informal determinations.

 

  • Status:  Senate Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure, 5/25/2016 — Reported, as amended, 6/7/2016 – 1st Consideration, 6/7/2016 – 2nd Consideration, 6/14/2016 – Re-referred to Senate Appropriations, 6/14/2016

 

With the current law scheduled to sunset at the end of 2016, at the very least, an extension of the sunset date needs to occur.  It appears that both bills may be moving, with the hope that the more comprehensive Senate version will get to the Governor’s desk before the 2015-16 legislative session ends on November 30, 2016.  Otherwise, the House proposal to simply extend the sunset date may buy the General Assembly an additional year to consider the Senate proposal to transfer oversight to the PUC.

 

Please be assured that we will keep you apprised of any further activity.

 

Thanks,

Erik

 

Erik A. Ross

Associate

Milliron & Goodman Government Relations, LLC.

200 North 3rd Street

Suite 1500

Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone:  717-232-5322

Cell:  717-574-3963

erik@millirongoodman.com

 

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