by Ron Gregory
CHARLESTON – Changes in the West Virginia Damage Prevention Law and the One Call (811) system were made earlier this year by the West Virginia legislature and are now in effect. Now anyone, including excavators, contractors and even homeowners, who fails to call 811 at least two business days before digging or excavating, could be subject to civil penalties. The service is free, but the penalties range from violators being required to complete a training course to a fine of up to $5,000, according to the state Public Service Commission.
Other changes in the One Call law include the creation of the Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Board, which will investigate damage to underground facilities and recommend actions for violators of the One Call law. Actions of the board will be focused on damage prevention, public awareness, and training and educational programs promoting the proper use of the Call Before You Dig damage prevention law. The law also eliminated an exemption for privately-owned water companies.
All operator-owned underground facilities that are installed on or after July 1, must be installed in a manner that will make those underground facilities locatable using a generally accepted locating method.
For additional information, visit the Public Service Commission’s website at: www.psc.state.wv.us and select the 811 link at the bottom of the page.