Effective July 15, 1996 (and modified June 10, 2006 ) , West Virginia Chapter 24-C Underground Facility Damage Prevention act became law. The state law provides for the certification and operation of a statewide one call system. Miss Utility of West Virginia, Inc. (WV 811), a not-for-profit, private corporation and in operation since 1981, meets all requirements to function in this capacity. Its purpose is to receive notification of proposed excavation, demolition or other earth disturbing activities from persons planning to do such work. WV 811 will relay this information to member owners/operators of underground facilities in order for them to determine the location of and mark their facilities. Damage to underground facilities is prevented, the general safety of the public is maintained and unnecessary lost time is avoided by the excavator. WV 811 can be contacted twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week by calling toll free 1-800-245-4848. Whenever possible, it is best to call between 7AM and 5PM, Monday through Friday. Routine 48 hour notifications can be made via Fax, Email or WV 811 provided software.
The statute is an effort to provide for public and worker safety in West Virginia by providing certain requirements before excavation and/or demolition work can take place near underground facilities. The law makes it a requirement to notify the state one call system before any excavation or demolition activities are done and now provides for monetary penalties (up to $5,000) for non-compliance. The law can be viewed at this site in its entirety for your reference and convenience (click here). This law is in addition to OSHA Regulations, 1926.651 General Requirements which state that prior to any earth disturbance, utility companies or owners shall be notified.
Furthermore, the following federal regulation mandates notification of the one call system before beginning work near underground interstate pipelines:
Title 49 United States Code
“A person shall be fined under Title 18, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both, if the person knowingly and willfully engages in an excavation activity without first using an available one-call notification system to establish the location of underground facilities in the excavation area; or without paying attention to appropriate location information or markings the operator of a pipeline facility that results in death, serious bodily harm, or actual damages to property of more than $50,000 or a hazardous liquid pipeline facility that results in the release of more than 50 barrels of product.”
It is important to remember that not all underground utility owners belong to the one call system at present. The excavator should call these companies individually. Excavators must also be aware that some underground lines are owned by the property owner, who is responsible for those lines and, therefore, in some cases, may not be located by the utility company.
Full membership in WV 811 is open to any operator of underground utilities/facilities. Associate memberships are available to any party sharing the goals of the one call system. Associate membership forms are available by contacting (304) 345-3959. To download the associate membership form, click here.