EXCAVATION SAFETY BILL (H 3297)

By Bob Katzen

The House gave initial approval to a proposal that would require a professional land surveyor working on a preliminary design for a new facility or renovation where excavation is necessary to pre-mark the proposed excavation.

“The bill ensures that underground utilities are marked during the planning process for projects rather than only at the time of construction,” said sponsor Rep. Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston). “This will help ensure that projects are designed from the outset to minimize potential disruption to utilities during construction. I filed the bill in partnership with the Massachusetts Council of Engineering companies. Given the significant extent of natural gas infrastructure in my district, I filed the bill to help protect the public from emergencies that result from construction crews mistakenly damaging underground utilities.

“I co-sponsored this bill because my community has had negative issues with excavation and blasting occurring in public ways nearby their homes and notification,” said Rep. Michelle DuBois (D-Brockton). “Though this bill will not solve all the issues faced by my constituents the [pre-marking] requirement … would provide my constituents another visual sign by the pre-marking that something may be upcoming in their neighborhood.

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