Page 9 - Alabama 811 Magazine 2022 Issue 2
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Alabama’s Underground Damage Prevention legislation has been enacted since 1994. Over the years there have been amendment to strengthen
and improve the damage prevention program in our state. We will focus on some of the key terms and sections to ensure a thorough understanding of the underground damage prevention as outline in Alabama state law.
In 2019, Alabama’s legislation was revised to outline a more formalized enforcement program. Prior to this change, the enforcement process was conducted by the District Attorney in the county the work was performed in or the Attorney General. In 2019, the new enforcement process was changed to have an outlined penalty tiered structure, an enforcement authority, and a complaint submittal process.
"§37-15-10. Civil Penalties and Enforcement
This section outlines the civil penalties associated with violation of the Underground Damage Prevention law. The tiered violations included the following:
• First violation, the violator shall complete a course of training or pay a civil penalty not to exceed $500.00, or both;
• Second violation, within a 12 month period, the violator shall complete a course of training or pay a civil penalty not to exceed $1000.00, or both;
• Third or subsequent violations within a 12 month period, the violator shall complete a course of training AND pay a civil penalty not to exceed $3000.00.
• If any violation is found to be due to gross negligence or willful misconduct the violator will be required to complete a training course and pay a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per incident.
The cost of training is the responsibility of the violator, and the Authority has the right to designate what company representative is required to attend the training.
All monies collected from the violations is paid to the Underground Damage Prevention Fund. Those funds are for the exclusive use of the Authority and can be used to carry out the duties of the Authority. Excess funds can be used to support public awareness programs, training, and education to reduce the number and severity of violations of the damage prevention law.
Any willful or malicious removal or destruction of facility markings, except in the ordinary course of excavation, is considered a Class C misdemeanor.
This section outlines the establishment and responsibilities of the Enforcement Authority. The Authority is composed
of underground facility protection stakeholders for a total of seventeen Authority members. Some of these individuals are appointed by the Governor and others are appointed by their associated state agency.
The Authority utilized the services of the Public Service Commission to provide administrative support to the Authority. However, the association of the PSC does not expand its authority or capacity of jurisdiction.
The remainder if this section outlines the authority and procedures of the Authority and executive committee.
This section outlines the entire process of when complaints are to be filed, guidelines on timeframe for complaint compared to timeframe of the occurrence, and the timeframe on when complaints will be responded to by the Executive Committee.
A detailed description of the complaint process, and other information, can be found at the Underground Damage Prevention Authority website,
Legislative Corner
2022, Issue 2 Alabama 811 • 7

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