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Call 811 from anywhere in Florida two full business days before digging, and your call will be routed to us. Tell the operator where you’re planning to dig, what type of work you will be doing and your affected local utility companies will be notified about your intent to dig. In a couple days, they’ll send a locator to mark the approximate location of underground lines, pipes and cables in your yard, so you’ll know what’s below – and be able to dig safely

DeBary, FL (May 27, 2010) – Sunshine State One Call, Florida’s call 811 before you dig center, announced today Gov. Crist’s signing of Senate Bill 982, which changes the Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act, Chapter 556, Florida Statutes, and becomes law effective October 1, 2010.

The ambitious new legislation adopts low impact marking provisions to minimize the amount and duration of paint on the ground and prohibits local governments from passing certain ordinances that conflict with Ch. 556, F.S. or that relate to the mechanics of marking practices. The new law also increases penalties to $500 for violating the non-criminal infractions and to a possible $50,000 if the violation involves a high priority subsurface installation as determined by the Division of Administrative Hearings. SSOCOF must also develop a voluntary alternative dispute resolution process for disputes resulting from excavation activities.

SSOCOF’s Board of Directors is working on implementation details for various provisions of the new law, to be in place October 1, 2010. SSOCOF staff is also working on educational presentations and online programs to explain the new requirements.

Clavijo Dean Thrash Martin

       ENROLLED
       2010 Legislature             CS for CS for SB 982, 1st Engrossed

                                                              2010982er
    1
    2         An act relating to underground facility damage
    3         prevention and safety; amending s. 556.101, F.S.;
    4         prohibiting municipalities, counties, districts, and
    5         other local governments from enacting ordinances or
    6         rules that conflict with ch. 556, F.S.; amending s.
    7         556.103, F.S.; requiring that the board of directors
    8         of Sunshine State One-Call of Florida, Inc., present
    9         to the Governor and Legislature an annual report that
   10         includes a summary of reports issued by the clerks of
   11         court; amending s. 556.105, F.S.; requiring that an
   12         excavator provide the Sunshine State One-Call of
   13         Florida, Inc., system with certain specified
   14         information not less than 10 full business days before
   15         beginning an excavation or demolition beneath the
   16         waters of the state; prohibiting the use of such
   17         information by member operators for sales or marketing
   18         purposes; deleting obsolete provisions; removing
   19         provisions requiring the premarking of certain
   20         proposed excavation sites; requiring a mutually agreed
   21         excavation plan for high-priority excavations;
   22         amending s. 556.106, F.S.; removing redundant
   23         provisions that provide a limited waiver of sovereign
   24         immunity for the state and its agencies and
   25         subdivisions arising from matters involving
   26         underground facilities; amending s. 556.107, F.S.;
   27         providing increased penalties for noncriminal
   28         infractions of the Sunshine State One-Call of Florida,
   29         Inc., system; requiring each clerk of court to submit
   30         a report to Sunshine State One-Call of Florida, Inc.,
   31         by a specified date listing each violation that has
   32         been filed in the county during the preceding calendar
   33         year; amending s. 556.109, F.S.; specifying
   34         circumstances under which an excavator shall not
   35         notify the Sunshine State One-Call of Florida, Inc.,
   36         system that there is an emergency; amending s.
   37         556.110, F.S.; deleting a provision that limits
   38         assessments against a member operator who receives
   39         fewer than 10 notifications in any month; creating s.
   40         556.114, F.S.; providing requirements for low-impact
   41         marking practices; providing procedures and methods to
   42         mark areas of excavation; requiring Sunshine State
   43         One-Call of Florida, Inc., to establish an educational
   44         program for the purpose of informing excavators and
   45         member operators about low-impact marking practices;
   46         creating s. 556.115, F.S.; requiring Sunshine State
   47         One-Call of Florida, Inc., to create a voluntary
   48         alternative dispute resolution program that is open to
   49         all member operators, excavators, and other
   50         stakeholders; requiring the voluntary users of the
   51         alternative dispute resolution program to choose the
   52         form of alternative dispute resolution to be used;
   53         requiring that the costs of using the voluntary
   54         program be borne by the users; providing that unless
   55         binding arbitration is the chosen method of
   56         alternative dispute resolution, the users or any one
   57         of such users may end the process at any time and
   58         proceed in a court of competent jurisdiction or before
   59         the Division of Administrative Hearings; creating s.
   60         556.116, F.S.; defining the terms “high-priority
   61         subsurface installations” and “incident”; providing
   62         that if an excavation is proposed within 15 feet of a
   63         high-priority subsurface installation and is
   64         identified as such by the facility operator, the
   65         facility operator must notify the excavator of the
   66         existence of the high-priority subsurface installation
   67         and mark its location before excavation may begin;
   68         requiring an excavator to notify the operator of the
   69         excavation start time in the vicinity of a high
   70         priority subsurface installation; providing that an
   71         alleged infraction that results in an incident must be
   72         reported to the system by an operator or an excavator;
   73         providing that the system shall transmit incident
   74         reports to the Division of Administrative Hearings;
   75         providing that the system and the division may
   76         contract for the division to conduct proceedings;
   77         providing that the division has jurisdiction to
   78         determine the facts and law concerning an alleged
   79         incident; authorizing the division to impose a fine on
   80         a violator if the violation was a proximate cause of
   81         the incident; providing procedures, venue, and
   82         standard of proof; providing an effective date.
   83
   84  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   85
   86         Section 1. Paragraph (d) of subsection (3) of section
   87  556.101, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   88         556.101 Short title; legislative intent.—
   89         (3) It is the purpose of this chapter to:
   90         (d) Reserve to the state the power to regulate any subject
   91  matter specifically addressed in this chapter. Municipalities,
   92  counties, districts, or other local governments may not adopt or
   93  enforce ordinances or rules that conflict with this chapter or
   94  that prescribe any of the following:
   95         1. Require operators of underground facilities to obtain
   96  permits from local governments in order to identify underground
   97  facilities.
   98         2. Require premarking or marking.
   99         3. Specify the types of paint or other marking devices that
  100  are used to identify underground facilities.
  101         4. Require removal of marks.
  102         Section 2. Subsections (4) and (5) of section 556.103,
  103  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  104         556.103 Creation of the corporation; establishment of the
  105  board of directors; authority of the board; annual report.—
  106         (4) Beginning in 1994, The board of directors shall file
  107  with the Governor, not later than 60 days before the convening
  108  of each regular session of the Legislature, an annual progress
  109  report on the operation of the system, which must include a
  110  summary of the reports to the system from the clerks of court.
  111         (5) Beginning in 1998, The board of directors shall submit
  112  to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
  113  Representatives, and the Governor, not later than 60 days before
  114  the convening of each regular session of the Legislature, an
  115  annual progress report on the participation by municipalities
  116  and counties in the one-call notification system created by this
  117  chapter. The report must include a summary of the reports to the
  118  system from the clerks of court.
  119         Section 3. Paragraphs (a) and (d) of subsection (1),
  120  subsections (5) and (6), paragraph (a) of subsection (7),
  121  paragraph (a) of subsection (9), and subsection (11) of section
  122  556.105, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  123         556.105 Procedures.—
  124         (1)(a) Not less than 2 full business days before beginning
  125  any excavation or demolition that is not, except an excavation
  126  beneath the waters of the state, and not less than 10 full
  127  business days before beginning any excavation or demolition that
  128  is beneath the waters of the state, an excavator shall provide
  129  the following information through the system:
  130         1. The name of the individual who provided notification and
  131  the name, address, including the street address, city, state,
  132  zip code, and telephone number of her or his employer.
  133         2. The name and telephone number of the representative for
  134  the excavator, and a valid electronic address to facilitate a
  135  positive response by the system should be provided, if
  136  available.
  137         3. The county, the city or closest city, and the street
  138  address or the closest street, road, or intersection to the
  139  location where the excavation or demolition is to be performed,
  140  and the construction limits of the excavation or demolition.
  141         4. The commencement date and anticipated duration of the
  142  excavation or demolition.
  143         5. Whether machinery will be used for the excavation or
  144  demolition.
  145         6. The person or entity for whom the work is to be done.
  146         7. The type of work to be done.
  147         8. The approximate depth of the excavation.
  148         (d) Member operators shall use the information provided to
  149  the system by other member operators only for the purposes
  150  stated in this chapter and not for sales or marketing purposes.
  151         1. The system shall study the feasibility of the
  152  establishment or recognition of zones for the purpose of
  153  allowing excavation within such zones to be undertaken without
  154  notice to the system as now required by this chapter when such
  155  zones are:
  156         a. In areas within which no underground facilities are
  157  located.
  158         b. Where permanent markings, permit and mapping systems,
  159  and structural protection for underwater crossings are required
  160  or in place.
  161         c. For previously marked utilities on construction of one-
  162  or two-family dwellings where the contractor remains in custody
  163  and control of the building site for the duration of the
  164  building permit.
  165         2. The system shall report the results of the study to the
  166  Legislature on or before February 1, 2007, along with
  167  recommendations for further legislative action.
  168         (5) All member operators within the defined area of a
  169  proposed excavation or demolition shall be promptly notified
  170  through the system, except that member operators with state
  171  owned underground facilities located within the right-of-way of
  172  a state highway need not be notified of excavation or demolition
  173  activities and are under no obligation to mark or locate the
  174  facilities.
  175         (a) When an excavation site cannot be described in
  176  information provided under subparagraph (1)(a)3. with sufficient
  177  particularity to enable the member operator to ascertain the
  178  excavation site, and if the excavator and member operator have
  179  not mutually agreed otherwise, the excavator shall premark the
  180  proposed area of the excavation before a member operator is
  181  required to identify the horizontal route of its underground
  182  facilities in the proximity of any excavation. However,
  183  premarking is not required for any excavation that is over 500
  184  feet in length and is not required where the premarking could
  185  reasonably interfere with traffic or pedestrian control.
  186         (a)(b) If a member operator determines that a proposed
  187  excavation or demolition is in proximity to or in conflict with
  188  an underground facility of the member operator, except a
  189  facility beneath the waters of the state, which is governed by
  190  paragraph (b) (c), the member operator shall identify the
  191  horizontal route by marking to within 24 inches from the outer
  192  edge of either side of the underground facility by the use of
  193  stakes, paint, flags, or other suitable means within 2 full
  194  business days after the time the notification is received under
  195  subsection (1). If the member operator is unable to respond
  196  within such time, the member operator shall communicate with the
  197  person making the request and negotiate a new schedule and time
  198  that is agreeable to, and should not unreasonably delay, the
  199  excavator.
  200         (b)(c) If a member operator determines that a proposed
  201  excavation is in proximity to or in conflict with an underground
  202  facility of the member operator beneath the waters of the state,
  203  the member operator shall identify the estimated horizontal
  204  route of the underground facility, within 10 business days,
  205  using marking buoys or other suitable devices, unless directed
  206  otherwise by an agency having jurisdiction over the waters of
  207  the state under which the member operator’s underground facility
  208  is located.
  209         (c)(d) When excavation is to take place within a tolerance
  210  zone, an excavator shall use increased caution to protect
  211  underground facilities. The protection requires hand digging,
  212  pot holing, soft digging, vacuum excavation methods, or other
  213  similar procedures to identify underground facilities. Any use
  214  of mechanized equipment within the tolerance zone must be
  215  supervised by the excavator.
  216         (6)(a) An excavator shall avoid excavation in the area
  217  described in the notice given under subsection (1) until each
  218  member operator underground facility has been marked and located
  219  or until the excavator has been notified that no member operator
  220  has underground facilities in the area described in the notice,
  221  or for the time allowed for markings set forth in paragraphs
  222  (5)(a) and (b) (5)(b) and (c), whichever occurs first. If a
  223  member operator has not located and marked its underground
  224  facilities within the time allowed for marking set forth in
  225  paragraphs (5)(a) and (b) (5)(b) and (c), the excavator may
  226  proceed with the excavation, if the excavator does so with
  227  reasonable care and if detection equipment or other acceptable
  228  means to locate underground facilities are used.
  229         (b) An excavator may not demolish in the area described in
  230  the notice given under subsection (1) until all member operator
  231  underground facilities have been marked and located or removed.
  232         (7)(a) A member operator that states that it does not have
  233  accurate information concerning the exact location of its
  234  underground facilities is exempt from the requirements of
  235  paragraphs (5)(a) and (b) (5)(b) and (c), but shall provide the
  236  best available information to the excavator in order to comply
  237  with the requirements of this section. An excavator is not
  238  liable for any damage to an underground facility under the
  239  exemption in this subsection if the excavation or demolition is
  240  performed with reasonable care and detection equipment or other
  241  acceptable means to locate underground facilities are used.
  242         (9)(a) After receiving notification from the system, a
  243  member operator shall provide a positive response to the system
  244  within 2 full business days, or 10 such days for an underwater
  245  excavation or demolition, indicating the status of operations to
  246  protect the facility.
  247         (11) Before or during excavation or demolition, if the
  248  marking of the horizontal route of any facility is removed or is
  249  no longer visible, or, in the case of an underwater facility, is
  250  inadequately documented, the excavator shall stop excavation or
  251  demolition activities in the vicinity of the facility and shall
  252  notify the system to have the route remarked or adequately
  253  documented by a member operator or in a manner approved by the
  254  member operator.
  255         Section 4. Section 556.106, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  256  read:
  257         556.106 Liability of the member operator, excavator, and
  258  system.—
  259         (1) There is no liability on the part of, and no cause of
  260  action of any nature shall arise against, the board members of
  261  the corporation in their capacity as administrators of the
  262  system.
  263         (2)(a) If a person violates s. 556.105(1) or (6), and
  264  subsequently, whether by himself or herself or through the
  265  person’s employees, contractors, subcontractors, or agents,
  266  performs an excavation or demolition that damages an underground
  267  facility of a member operator, it is rebuttably presumed that
  268  the person was negligent. The person, if found liable, is liable
  269  for the total sum of the losses to all member operators involved
  270  as those costs are normally computed. Any damage for loss of
  271  revenue and loss of use may not exceed $500,000 per affected
  272  underground facility, except that revenues lost by a
  273  governmental member operator whose revenues are used to support
  274  payments on principal and interest on bonds may not be limited.
  275  Any liability of the state and its agencies and its subdivisions
  276  which arises out of this chapter is subject to the provisions of
  277  s. 768.28.
  278         (b) If any excavator fails to discharge a duty imposed by
  279  the provisions of this chapter, the excavator, if found liable,
  280  is liable for the total sum of the losses to all parties
  281  involved as those costs are normally computed. Any damage for
  282  loss of revenue and loss of use may not exceed $500,000 per
  283  affected underground facility, except that revenues lost by a
  284  governmental member operator whose revenues are used to support
  285  payments on principal and interest on bonds may not be limited.
  286         (c) Any liability of the state, its agencies, or its
  287  subdivisions which arises out of this chapter is subject to the
  288  provisions of s. 768.28.
  289         (c)(d) Obtaining information as to the location of an
  290  underground facility from the member operator as required by
  291  this chapter does not excuse any excavator from performing an
  292  excavation or demolition in a careful and prudent manner, based
  293  on accepted engineering and construction practices, and it does
  294  not excuse the excavator from liability for any damage or injury
  295  resulting from any excavation or demolition.
  296         (3) If, after receiving proper notice, a member operator
  297  fails to discharge a duty imposed by the provisions of this act
  298  and an underground facility of a such member operator is damaged
  299  by an excavator who has complied with the provisions of this
  300  act, as a proximate result of the member operator’s failure to
  301  discharge such duty, the such excavator is shall not be liable
  302  for such damage and the member operator, if found liable, is
  303  shall be liable to such person for the total cost of any loss or
  304  injury to any person or damage to equipment resulting from the
  305  member operator’s failure to comply with this act. Any damage
  306  for loss of revenue and loss of use shall not exceed $500,000
  307  per affected underground facility, except that revenues lost by
  308  a governmental member operator, which revenues are used to
  309  support payments on principal and interest on bonds, shall not
  310  be limited. The liability of governmental member operators shall
  311  be subject to limitations provided in chapter 768.
  312         (4) If an owner of an underground facility fails to become
  313  a member of the corporation in order to use and participate in
  314  the system, as required by this act, and that failure is a cause
  315  of damage to that underground facility caused by an excavator
  316  who has complied with the provisions of this act and has
  317  exercised reasonable care in the performance of the excavation
  318  that has caused damage to the underground facility, the owner
  319  has no right of recovery against the excavator for the damage to
  320  that underground facility.
  321         (5) If, after receiving proper notification, the system
  322  fails to discharge its duties, resulting in damage to an
  323  underground facility, the system, if found liable, shall be
  324  liable to all parties, as defined in this act. Any damage for
  325  loss of revenue and loss of use shall not exceed $500,000 per
  326  affected underground facility, except that revenues lost by a
  327  governmental member operator, which revenues are used to support
  328  payments on principal and interest on bonds, shall not be
  329  limited.
  330         (6) The system does not have a duty to mark or locate
  331  underground facilities and may not do so, and a right of
  332  recovery does not exist against the system for failing to mark
  333  or locate underground facilities. The system is not liable for
  334  the failure of a member operator to comply with the requirements
  335  of this chapter.
  336         (7) An excavator or a member operator who performs any
  337  excavation with hand tools under s. 556.108(4)(c) or (5) is
  338  liable for any damage to any operator’s underground facilities
  339  damaged during such excavation.
  340         (8) Any liability of the state, its agencies, or its
  341  subdivisions which arises out of this chapter is subject to the
  342  provisions of s. 768.28.
  343         Section 5. Section 556.107, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  344  read:
  345         556.107 Violations.—
  346         (1) NONCRIMINAL INFRACTIONS.—
  347         (a) Violations of the following provisions are noncriminal
  348  infractions:
  349         1. Section 556.105(1), relating to providing required
  350  information.
  351         2. Section 556.105(6), relating to the avoidance of
  352  excavation.
  353         3. Section 556.105(11), relating to the need to stop
  354  excavation or demolition because marks are no longer visible,
  355  or, in the case of underwater facilities, are inadequately
  356  documented.
  357         4. Section 556.105(12), relating to the need to cease
  358  excavation or demolition activities because of contact or damage
  359  to an underground facility.
  360         5. Section 556.105(5)(a) and (b), 556.105(5)(b) and (c)
  361  relating to identification of underground facilities, if a
  362  member operator does not mark an underground facility, but not
  363  if a member operator marks an underground facility incorrectly.
  364         6. Section 556.109(2), relating to falsely notifying the
  365  system of an emergency situation or condition.
  366         7. Section 556.114(1), (2), (3), and (4), relating to a
  367  failure to follow low-impact marking practices, as defined
  368  therein.
  369         (b) Any excavator or member operator who commits a
  370  noncriminal infraction under paragraph (a) may be issued a
  371  citation by any local or state law enforcement officer,
  372  government code inspector, or code enforcement officer, and the
  373  issuer of a citation may require an excavator to cease work on
  374  any excavation or not start a proposed excavation until there
  375  has been compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
  376  Citations shall be hand delivered to any employee of the
  377  excavator or member operator who is involved in the noncriminal
  378  infraction. The citation shall be issued in the name of the
  379  excavator or member operator, whichever is applicable.
  380         (c) Any excavator or member operator who commits a
  381  noncriminal infraction under paragraph (a) may be required to
  382  pay a appear before the county court. The civil penalty for each
  383  any such infraction, which is $500 $250 plus court costs, except
  384  as otherwise provided in this section. If a citation is issued
  385  by a local law enforcement officer, a local government code
  386  inspector, or a code enforcement officer, 80 percent of the
  387  civil penalty collected by the clerk of the court shall be
  388  distributed to the local governmental entity whose employee
  389  issued the citation and 20 percent of the penalty shall be
  390  retained by the clerk to cover administrative costs, in addition
  391  to other court costs. If a citation is issued by a state law
  392  enforcement officer, the civil penalty collected by the clerk
  393  shall be retained by the clerk for deposit into the fine and
  394  forfeiture fund established pursuant to s. 142.01. Any person
  395  who fails to appear or otherwise properly respond to a citation
  396  issued pursuant to paragraph (b) (d) shall, in addition to the
  397  citation, be charged with the offense of failing to respond to
  398  the such citation and, upon conviction, commits a misdemeanor of
  399  the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.
  400  775.083. A written warning to this effect must shall be provided
  401  at the time any citation is issued pursuant to paragraph (b).
  402         (d) Any person cited for an infraction under paragraph (a),
  403  unless required to appear before the county court, may:
  404         1. post a bond, which shall be equal in amount to the
  405  applicable civil penalty plus court costs; or
  406         2. Sign and accept a citation indicating a promise to
  407  appear before the county court.
  408
  409  The person issuing the citation may indicate on the citation the
  410  time and location of the scheduled hearing and shall indicate
  411  the applicable civil penalty.
  412         (e) A Any person charged with a noncriminal infraction
  413  under paragraph (a), unless required to appear before the county
  414  court, may:
  415         1. pay the civil penalty plus court costs, in lieu of
  416  appearance, either by mail or in person, within 30 days after
  417  the date of receiving the citation; or
  418         2. Forfeit bond, if a bond has been posted, by not
  419  appearing at the designated time and location.
  420
  421  If the person cited pays the civil penalty follows either of the
  422  above procedures, she or he is deemed to have admitted to
  423  committing the infraction and to have waived the right to a
  424  hearing on the issue of commission of the infraction. The
  425  admission may be used as evidence in any other proceeding under
  426  this chapter.
  427         (f) Any person may elect electing to appear before the
  428  county court and if so electing or who is required to appear
  429  shall be deemed to have waived the limitations on the civil
  430  penalty specified in paragraph (c). The court, after a hearing,
  431  shall make a determination as to whether an infraction has been
  432  committed. If the commission of an infraction has been proven,
  433  the court may impose a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 plus
  434  court costs. In determining the amount of the civil penalty, the
  435  court may consider previous noncriminal infractions committed.
  436         (g) At a court hearing under this chapter, the commission
  437  of a charged infraction must be proven by a preponderance of the
  438  evidence.
  439         (h) If a person is found by a judge or the hearing official
  440  to have committed an infraction, the person may appeal that
  441  finding to the circuit court.
  442         (i) Sunshine State One-Call of Florida, Inc., may, at its
  443  own cost, retain an attorney to assist in the presentation of
  444  relevant facts and law in the county court proceeding pertaining
  445  to the citation issued under this section. The corporation may
  446  also appear in any case appealed to the circuit court if a
  447  county court judge finds that an infraction of the chapter was
  448  committed. An appellant in the circuit court proceeding shall
  449  timely notify the corporation of any appeal under this section.
  450         (2) REPORT OF INFRACTIONS.—By March 31 of each year, each
  451  clerk of court shall submit a report to Sunshine State One-Call
  452  of Florida, Inc., listing each violation notice written under
  453  paragraph (1)(a) which has been filed in that county during the
  454  preceding calendar year. The report must state the name and
  455  address of the member or excavator who committed each infraction
  456  and indicate whether or not the civil penalty for the infraction
  457  was paid.
  458         (3)(2) MISDEMEANORS.—Any person who knowingly and willfully
  459  removes or otherwise destroys the valid stakes or other valid
  460  physical markings described in s. 556.105(5)(a) and (b) s.
  461  556.105(5)(b) and (c) used to mark the horizontal route of an
  462  underground facility commits a misdemeanor of the second degree,
  463  punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. For purposes
  464  of this subsection, stakes or other nonpermanent physical
  465  markings are considered valid for 30 calendar days after
  466  information is provided to the system under s. 556.105(1)(a) s.
  467  556.105(1)(c).
  468         Section 6. Section 556.109, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  469  read:
  470         556.109 Emergency excavations or demolitions attempted;
  471  exception.—
  472         (1) The provisions of This act does do not apply to making
  473  an excavation or demolition during an emergency if, provided the
  474  system or the member operator was notified at the earliest
  475  opportunity and all reasonable precautions had been taken to
  476  protect any underground facility. For the purposes of this act,
  477  “emergency” means any condition constituting a clear and present
  478  danger to life or property; a situation caused by the escape of
  479  any substance transported by means of an underground facility;
  480  any interruption of vital public service or communication caused
  481  by any break or defect in a member operator’s underground
  482  facility; or, in the case of the State Highway System or streets
  483  or roads maintained by a political subdivision or underground
  484  facilities owned, operated, or maintained by a political
  485  subdivision, if the use of such highways, streets, roads, or
  486  underground facilities is, in the sole judgment of the
  487  Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Department
  488  of Transportation, or such political subdivision, impaired by an
  489  unforeseen occurrence that which necessitates repair beginning
  490  immediately after such occurrence.
  491         (2) An excavator shall not notify the system that there is
  492  an emergency unless the excavator reasonably believes that the
  493  intended excavation or demolition is due to a situation or
  494  condition as defined in subsection (1).
  495         Section 7. Section 556.110, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  496  read:
  497         556.110 Costs assessed among member operators.—Member
  498  operators shall proportionately share in the cost of operating
  499  the system through monthly assessments made upon each member
  500  operator. However, any member that receives fewer than 10
  501  notifications in any month shall not be assessed for such month.
  502         Section 8. Section 556.114, Florida Statutes, is created to
  503  read:
  504         556.114 Low-impact marking practices.—
  505         (1) An excavator providing notice under s. 556.105(1)(a)
  506  shall identify in its notice only the area that will be
  507  excavated during the period that the information in such notice
  508  is considered valid under s. 556.105(1)(c).
  509         (2) When an excavator has not completed an excavation
  510  noticed under s. 556.105(1)(a) within the period that the
  511  information in the notice is considered valid under s.
  512  556.105(1)(c), the excavator must provide a subsequent notice to
  513  the system under s. 556.105(1)(a) to continue with the
  514  excavation, and such subsequent notice shall identify only the
  515  remaining area to be excavated.
  516         (3) When an excavation site cannot be described in
  517  information provided under s. 556.105(1)(a) with sufficient
  518  particularity to enable the member operator to ascertain the
  519  excavation site, and if the excavator and member operator have
  520  not mutually agreed otherwise, the excavator shall premark the
  521  proposed area of the excavation before a member operator is
  522  required to identify the horizontal route of its underground
  523  facilities in the proximity of any excavation. However,
  524  premarking is not required when the premarking could reasonably
  525  interfere with traffic or pedestrian control.
  526         (4) A member operator shall identify the horizontal route
  527  of its underground facilities as set forth in s. 556.105(5)(a)
  528  and (b), and excavators shall premark an excavation site as set
  529  forth in subsection (3) using flags or stakes or temporary, non
  530  permanent paint or other industryaccepted low-impact marking
  531  practices.
  532         (5) Any horizontal route-identification marker must be in a
  533  color identified in the Uniform Color Code for Utilities.
  534         (6) Sunshine State One-Call of Florida, Inc., shall
  535  establish an educational program for the purpose of informing
  536  excavators and member operators about low-impact marking
  537  practices.
  538         Section 9. Section 556.115, Florida Statutes, is created to
  539  read:
  540         556.115 Alternative dispute resolution.—
  541         (1) Sunshine State One-Call of Florida, Inc., shall create
  542  a voluntary alternative dispute resolution program. The program
  543  shall be available to all member operators, excavators, and
  544  other stakeholders, such as locators, utility service users, and
  545  governmental or quasi-governmental entities, for purposes of
  546  resolving disputes arising from excavation activities,
  547  including, but not limited to, loss of services, down time,
  548  delays, loss of use of facilities during restoration or
  549  replacement, and similar economic disruptions, exclusive of
  550  penalties imposed under other provisions of this act.
  551         (2) The alternative dispute resolution program created by
  552  Sunshine State One-Call of Florida, Inc., shall include
  553  mediation, arbitration, or other appropriate processes,
  554  including the use of the services of the Division of
  555  Administrative Hearings.
  556         (3) The costs of using the program shall be borne by the
  557  voluntary users, and the voluntary users shall choose the form
  558  of alternative dispute resolution to be used. If arbitration is
  559  used, the users shall decide whether the arbitration will be
  560  binding.
  561         (4) Unless binding arbitration is the chosen method of
  562  alternative dispute resolution, the users or any one of such
  563  users may end the process at any time and exercise the right to
  564  proceed in a court of competent jurisdiction or before the
  565  Division of Administrative Hearings.
  566         (5) This section does not change the basis for civil
  567  liability for damages.
  568         Section 10. Section 556.116, Florida Statutes, is created
  569  to read:
  570         556.116 High-priority subsurface installations; special
  571  procedures.—
  572         (1) As used in this section, the term:
  573         (a) “Division” means the Division of Administrative
  574  Hearings.
  575         (b) “High-priority subsurface installation” means an
  576  underground gas transmission or gas distribution pipeline, an
  577  underground pipeline used to transport gasoline, jet fuel, or
  578  any other refined petroleum product or hazardous or highly
  579  volatile liquid, such as anhydrous ammonia or carbon dioxide, if
  580  the pipeline is deemed to be critical by the operator of the
  581  pipeline and is identified as a high-priority subsurface
  582  installation to an excavator who has provided a notice of intent
  583  to excavate pursuant to s. 556.105(1), or would have been
  584  identified as a high-priority subsurface installation except for
  585  the excavator’s failure to give proper notice of intent to
  586  excavate.
  587         (c) “Incident” means an event that involves damage to a
  588  high-priority subsurface installation that has been identified
  589  as such by the operator according to the notification procedures
  590  set forth in subsection (2) and that:
  591         1. Results in death or serious bodily injury requiring
  592  inpatient hospitalization.
  593         2. Results in property damage, including service
  594  restoration costs, in an amount in excess of $50,000 or
  595  interruption of service to 2,500 or more customers.
  596         (2) When an excavator proposes to excavate or demolish
  597  within 15 feet of the horizontal route of an underground
  598  facility that has been identified as a high-priority subsurface
  599  installation by the operator of the facility, the operator
  600  shall, in addition to identifying the horizontal route of its
  601  facility as set forth in s. 556.105(5)(a) and (b), and within
  602  the time period set forth in s. 556.105(9)(a) for a positive
  603  response, notify the excavator that the facility is a high
  604  priority subsurface installation. If the member operator
  605  provides such timely notice of the existence of a high-priority
  606  subsurface installation, an excavator shall notify the operator
  607  of the planned excavation start date and time before beginning
  608  excavation. If the member operator does not provide timely
  609  notice, the excavator may proceed, after waiting the prescribed
  610  time period set forth in s. 556.105(9)(a), to excavate without
  611  notifying the member operator of the excavation start date and
  612  time. The exemptions stated in s. 556.108 apply to the
  613  notification requirements in this subsection.
  614         (3)(a) An alleged commission of an infraction listed in s.
  615  556.107(1) which results in an incident must be reported to the
  616  system by a member operator or an excavator within 24 hours
  617  after learning of the alleged occurrence of an incident.
  618         (b) Upon receipt of an allegation that an incident has
  619  occurred, the system shall transmit an incident report to the
  620  division and contract with the division so that the division may
  621  conduct a hearing to determine whether an incident has occurred,
  622  and, if so, whether a violation of s. 556.107(1)(a), was a
  623  proximate cause of the incident. The contract for services to be
  624  performed by the division must include provisions for the system
  625  to reimburse the division for any costs incurred by the division
  626  for court reporters, transcript preparation, travel, facility
  627  rental, and other customary hearing costs, in the manner set
  628  forth in s. 120.65(11).
  629         (c) The division has jurisdiction in a proceeding under
  630  this section to determine the facts and law concerning an
  631  alleged incident. The division may impose a fine against a
  632  violator in an amount not to exceed $50,000 if the person
  633  violated a provision of s. 556.107(1)(a), and that violation was
  634  a proximate cause of the incident. However, if a state agency or
  635  political subdivision caused the incident, the state agency or
  636  political subdivision may not be fined in an amount in excess of
  637  $10,000.
  638         (d) A fine imposed by the division is in addition to any
  639  amount payable as a result of a citation relating to the
  640  incident under s. 556.107(1)(a).
  641         (e) A fine against an excavator or a member operator
  642  imposed under this subsection shall be paid to the system, which
  643  shall use the collected fines to satisfy the costs incurred by
  644  the system for any proceedings under this section. To the extent
  645  there are any funds remaining, the system may use the funds
  646  exclusively for damage-prevention education.
  647         (f) This section does not change the basis for civil
  648  liability. The findings and results of a hearing under this
  649  section may not be used as evidence of liability in any civil
  650  action.
  651         (4)(a) The division shall issue and serve on all original
  652  parties an initial order that assigns the case to a specific
  653  administrative law judge and requests information regarding
  654  scheduling the final hearing within 5 business days after the
  655  division receives a petition or request for hearing. The
  656  original parties in the proceeding includes all excavators and
  657  member operators identified by the system as being involved in
  658  the alleged incident. The final hearing must be conducted within
  659  60 days after the date the petition or the request for a hearing
  660  is filed with the division.
  661         (b) Unless the parties otherwise agree, venue for the
  662  hearing shall be in the county in which the underground facility
  663  is located.
  664         (c) An intervenor in the proceeding must file a petition to
  665  intervene no later than 15 days before the final hearing. A
  666  person who has a substantial interest in the proceeding may
  667  intervene.
  668         (5) The following procedures apply:
  669         (a) Motions shall be limited to the following:
  670         1. A motion in opposition to the petition.
  671         2. A motion requesting discovery beyond the informal
  672  exchange of documents and witness lists described in paragraph
  673  (c). Upon a showing of necessity, additional discovery may be
  674  permitted in the discretion of the administrative law judge, but
  675  only if the discovery can be completed no later than 5 days
  676  before the final hearing.
  677         3. A motion for continuance of the final hearing date.
  678         (b) All parties shall attend a prehearing conference for
  679  the purpose of identifying the legal and factual issues to be
  680  considered at the final hearing, the names and addresses of
  681  witnesses who may be called to testify at the final hearing,
  682  documentary evidence that will be offered at the final hearing,
  683  the range of penalties that may be imposed, and any other matter
  684  that would expedite resolution of the proceeding. The prehearing
  685  conference may be held by telephone conference call.
  686         (c) Not later than 5 days before the final hearing the
  687  parties shall furnish to each other copies of documentary
  688  evidence and lists of witnesses who may testify at the final
  689  hearing.
  690         (d) All parties shall have an opportunity to respond, to
  691  present evidence and argument on all issues involved, to conduct
  692  cross-examination and submit rebuttal evidence, and to be
  693  represented by counsel or other qualified representative.
  694         (e) The record shall consist only of:
  695         1. All notices, pleadings, motions, and intermediate
  696  rulings.
  697         2. Evidence received during the final hearing.
  698         3. A statement of matters officially recognized.
  699         4. Proffers of proof and objections and rulings thereon.
  700         5. Matters placed on the record after an ex parte
  701  communication.
  702         6. The written final order of the administrative law judge
  703  presiding at the final hearing.
  704         7. The official transcript of the final hearing.
  705         (f) The division shall accurately and completely preserve
  706  all testimony in the proceeding and, upon request by any party,
  707  shall make a full or partial transcript available at no more
  708  than actual cost.
  709         (g) The administrative law judge shall issue a final order
  710  within 30 days after the final hearing or the filing of the
  711  transcript thereof, whichever is later. The final order of the
  712  administrative law judge must include:
  713         1. Findings of fact based exclusively on the evidence of
  714  record and matters officially recognized.
  715         2. Conclusions of law. In determining whether a party has
  716  committed an infraction of s. 556.107(1)(a), and whether the
  717  infraction was a proximate cause of an incident, the commission
  718  of an infraction must be proven by a preponderance of the
  719  evidence.
  720         3. Imposition of a fine, if applicable.
  721         4. Any other information required by law or rule to be
  722  contained in a final order.
  723
  724  The final order of the administrative law judge constitutes
  725  final agency action subject to judicial review pursuant to s.
  726  120.68.
  727         Section 11. This act shall take effect October 1, 2010.

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