Maryland State Law
Gov. Martin O’Malley signed Senate Bill 911 into Law on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, updating the Maryland Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Law, more commonly known as the Miss Utility Law. The new Law goes into effect on October 1, 2010.
The new Law was the culmination of a nearly four-year process managed by the Title XII Steering Committee comprised of representatives from a wide array of stakeholder groups, all with the common goal of bringing Maryland’s damage prevention law into compliance with the 2006 federal PIPES Act and its “nine key elements” for an effective damage prevention program. This Steering Committee met a total of 65 times during this span, all at the Miss Utility Center in Hanover, MD.
The updated Law, which was sponsored by Delegate Dereck Davis (25th District, Prince George’s County) Chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee and Senator John Astle (30th District, Anne Arundel County) Vice Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, includes the following major changes and additions:
- A Maryland Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Authority will be formed as a stakeholder-run organization that has the ability to enforce the Miss Utility Law in the form of mandatory training or fines for violators. All nine members of this Authority must be approved by the Governor to serve staggered two-year terms. The makeup of this Authority will be as follows:
- Two underground facility owners that are Maryland members of the Maryland/DC Subscribers Committee;
- One from the Associated Utility Contractors of Maryland;
- One from the Public Works Contractors Association of Maryland;
- One from the One-Call Centers operating in the State;
- One that represents the underground utility locator community selected by the Maryland members of the Maryland/DC Damage Prevention Committee;
- One from the Maryland Association of Counties with experience in the field of underground utilities;
- One from the Maryland Municipal League with experience in the field of underground utilities;
- One person from the general public selected by the appointed and qualified members of the Authority.
- Owner members will now have two full business days to respond to a Miss Utility ticket. For example, a locate request submitted on a Monday will require a member response by midnight on a Wednesday.
- Tickets will be good for 12 full business days after the day on which the ticket is transmitted by the on-call system to an owner member.
- An 18-inch “no mechanized equipment” zone will become a statewide requirement for excavations or demolitions, including Montgomery County.
- Licensed architects, professional engineer, professional land surveyor and landscape architects will be able to process designer tickets for projects in the planning phase. Owner members will have 15 full business days to respond to designer tickets.
- The Maryland Department of Transportation, its administrations and the Maryland Transportation Authority will become Miss Utility owner members.
Click here to read the new Law in its entirety.
To view the archived minutes leading up to the law change, click here.