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Texas Railroad Commission Adopts New “Call Before You Dig” Rules

Texas residents are required by law to call 811 before digging any deeper than 16 inches. Once that call is made, all companies with any pipelines, water lines or utility lines in that area come out and mark their respective lines so that the excavation can avoid those lines. This is an obvious and common sense safety measure to protect the public as well as whoever is doing the digging.

House Bill 1818 recently extended the authority of the Texas Railroad Commission regarding pipelines. Previously, the RRC had jurisdiction only over intrastate pipelines (lines that begin and end within Texas). Now, the RRC has authority over interstate pipelines as well (lines that cross state boundaries).

Under the new RRC Rules (that you can review here), excavators must report any damage not later than one hour after the damage occurs. Next, a written report must be filed with the RRC within 30 days.

People sometimes grumble at having to call 811 before excavating on their own property, but safety demands it.

 

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