Title 39
Public Utilities and Carriers

Chapter 1.2
Excavation near Underground Utility Facilities

R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-1.2-1

§ 39-1.2-1. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) “Abandoned utility facilities” means any known underground or submerged utility line or facility that has been permanently taken out of service. For excavation purposes, the abandoned underground utility facilities should always be considered to be active utility service.

(2) “Administrator” means the administrator of the division of public utilities and carriers.

(3) “Approximate location of underground facilities” means a strip of land extending not more than one and one-half feet (1.5’) on either side of the underground facilities.

(4) “Association” means the group of public utilities formed pursuant to § 39-1.2-4 for the purpose of receiving and giving notice of excavation activity within the state.

(5) “Damage” means and includes, but is not limited to, the substantial weakening of structural or lateral support of a utility line; penetration or destruction of any utility line protective coating, housing, or other protective device; or the severance, partial or complete, of any utility line.

(6) “Demolition” means the wrecking, razing, rending, moving, or removing of any structure.

(7) “Excavation” means an operation for the purpose of movement or removal of earth, rock, or other materials in or on the ground, or otherwise disturbing the subsurface of the earth, by the use of powered or mechanized equipment, including, but not limited to: digging, blasting, auguring, back filling, test boring, drilling, pile driving, grading, plowing in, hammering, pulling in, trenching, and tunneling; excluding the movement of earth by tools manipulated only by human or animal power and the tilling of soil for agricultural purposes.

(8) “Governing authority” means the permit-issuing authority.

(9) “Immediate danger to life and health” means likely to cause death or immediate or delayed permanent adverse health effects or prevent escape from such an environment.

(10) “Inactive utility facilities” means any underground or submerged utility facilities line or facility that has been temporarily taken out of service with the expectation of becoming usable in the future.

(11) “Person” means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or a public utility, including a person engaged as a contractor by a public agency and including a public agency.

(12) “Public agency” means the state or any political subdivision thereof, including any governmental agency.

(13) “Public utility” means the owner or operator of underground facilities for furnishing electric, gas, telephone, or water service as defined in § 39-1-2(a)(20); and also means and includes, for the purposes of this chapter only, electric transmission companies and nonregulated power producers, as defined in § 39-1-2(a)(13) and (19); any cable television service; and any water company that voluntarily becomes a member of the association provided for under § 39-1.2-4.

(14) “Public utility facilities” means the underground plant and equipment owned and operated by a public utility for the purpose of furnishing electricity, gas, water, cable television, or telephone service; including the underground plant and equipment owned and operated by any water company, not subject to regulation by the administrator of the division of the public utilities, that voluntarily joins the association provided for under § 39-1.2-4. Utility facilities shall include active, newly installed, and inactive or abandoned utility facilities.

History of Section.
P.L. 1984, ch. 119, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 327, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 345, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 367, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 92, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 103, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 83, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 91, § 1.