Iowa One Call Law Update - Iowa One Call

Iowa One Call Law Update

Click here to review the Positive Response requirements for the new “Lack of Response by Excavator” status code. – updated as of July 1st, 2024

May 8, 2024
Legislative Changes
Iowa Code chapter 480
2024 Amendments

House File 2581 (Enrolled)

The bill was passed, signed by Governor Reynolds, and will be enacted July 1, 2024.


New Definition for “Forty-Eight-Hour Period”

New Subsection.
(480.1 Definitions): “Forty-eight-hour period” means a period of forty-eight consecutive hours beginning at 6:00 a.m. the next business day from the day the notification center receives a notice and excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

New Definition for “Locator”

New Subsection. 
(480.1 Definitions): “Locator” means a person proposing to engage or engaging in the location and marking of underground facilities under contract with or employed by an operator.

Iowa One Call Board To include Two Locators and Two Excavators (nonvoting)

Amended Subsection. 
480.3(1)(a)(1): The center shall be governed by a board of directors, which shall represent and be elected by operators, excavators, and other persons who participate in the center. “The board shall include two locators and two excavators to serve as nonvoting members.”

The Center Shall Implement a New Communications Process

New Subsection 480.3(2)(b):
The center shall establish a communications system to facilitate the provision of notice by operators, locators, and excavators.”

(The new system, enabling two-way communication for operators, locators, and excavators, will not be ready for implementation on July 1st. It will be implemented in 2024 upon development completion, and testing)

The Center Shall Provide Records to The Iowa Utilities Board

New Subsection.  480.3(4):
The center shall provide records to the utilities board upon request as a part of an investigation on behalf of the attorney general’s office.

Notice of Planned Excavation Required Prior to the “Forty-Eight-Hour Period

Amended Subsection.  480.4(1)(a):
Except as otherwise provided in this section, prior to any excavation, an excavator shall contact the notification center and provide notice of the planned excavation “occurring after a forty-eight-hour period.”

A Notice Is Valid for Twenty-Five Calendar Days

Amended Subsection.  480.4(1)(a):
The notice shall be valid for twenty-five calendar days beginning on the day the forty-eight-hour period concludes.”

Operators Shall Complete and Status the Locating and Marking Within the “Forty-Eight-Hour Period”

Amended Subsection.  480.4(3)(a)(1):
The operator shall complete such locating and marking, and shall notify the notification center that the marking is complete within the “forty-eight-hour period.”

The Center Shall Notify the Excavator Within the “Forty-Eight-Hour Period”

Amended Subsection.  480.4(3)(a)(1):
No later than the expiration of the “forty-eight-hour period” the notification center shall notify the excavator of the underground facility locating and marking status, or the failure of the operator to notify the center that the locating and marking is complete.”

Use of Nondestructive Methods to Determine the Location of Underground Facilities

Amended Subsection.  480.4(3)(a)(1):
If, in the opinion of the operator, the planned excavation requires that the precise location of the underground facilities be determined, the excavator, unless otherwise agreed upon between the excavator and the operator, shall hand dig test holes “or use nondestructive methods” to determine the location of the facilities unless the operator specifies an alternate method.”

Locate Marking Flags Shall Include Operator Name and Contact Phone Number

New Subsection.  480.4(3)(a)(2)(b):
“A locator shall use for marking a flag that includes the name of the operator and a contact phone number.”

No Excavations Performed Within Twenty-Five Feet of an “Underground Pipeline”

Amended Subsection. 480.4(3)(a)(3):
Unless otherwise agreed by the operator and excavator in writing, no excavation shall be performed within twenty-five feet of an underground “pipeline operating at one hundred fifty pounds per square inch or greater and that is equal to or greater than two inches in diameter” unless a representative of the underground “pipeline” is present at the planned excavation area. This requirement shall not apply, however, when a representative of the operator fails to be present at the proposed excavation area at the time work is scheduled to commence or as otherwise agreed by the operator and excavator in writing.

If No Conflicts Exist Operators May Status Clear Within the “Forty-Eight-Hour Period”

Amended Subsection.  480.4(3)(b):
An operator who receives notice from the notification center and who determines that the operator does not have any underground facility located within the proposed area of excavation shall notify the notification center concerning this determination within the “forty-eight-hour period.”

The Center Shall Notify Excavators When an Operator Clears a Notice Within the “Forty-Eight Hour Period”

Amended Subsection.  480.4(3)(b):
No later than the expiration of the “forty-eight-hour period” the notification center shall notify the excavator that the operator does not have any underground facilities within the proposed area of excavation.

Locating Time Limit Violations Mandated

New Subsection. 480.6(1)(c):
If a locator violates a time limit set forth in this chapter and a complaint relating to the violation is filed with the utilities board, the locator is subject to a civil penalty in an amount determined by the attorney general. If a locator employed by an operator violates this paragraph, the operator employing the locator shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount determined by the attorney general, which shall be the same as though assessed against the locator. A civil penalty imposed by the attorney general under this paragraph shall not exceed one hundred dollars for each violation for each day the violation continues, up to a maximum of five thousand dollars

Iowa Utilities Board – Per Direction of the Attorney General – Shall Investigate Violations

New Subsection. 480.6(2)(b) and (c):

b. “At the direction of the attorney general, the utilities board shall investigate a violation of this chapter. Upon completion of the investigation, the utilities board shall submit to the attorney general a written summary of the investigation and all evidence acquired during the investigation, except as set forth in subsection 2, paragraph ‘c’.”

c. “The utilities board may independently receive and investigate complaints alleging a violation of this chapter by a locator.”

Locator Enforcement Authority

New Section.  480.11:

Locator Enforcement Authority.

  • 1. A locator who operates in this state shall satisfy all of the following requirements:
    • a. Take responsibility for completing location services as required under section 480.4.
    • b. Correctly notify the notification center that a location service could not be completed due to a lack of response by the excavator and include in the notice the date, time, and method of the attempted contact with the excavator, and the name and contact information of any representative of the excavator.
  • 2. A locator operating in this state is subject to enforcement requirements as established in chapter 476. Any enforcement action taken for a violation of this chapter by a locator shall be taken solely against the locator and not the operator except as provided in section 480.6, subsection 1, paragraph “c”.
  • 3. Any enforcement action taken against a locator employed by an operator for a violation of this chapter shall not result in the operator being subject to penalties as both a locator and an operator.

Underground Facility Excavation Meeting

New Section.
“UNDERGROUND FACILITY EXCAVATION MEETING. The Iowa Utilities Board shall convene interested stakeholders before December 31, 2024, to discuss underground facility excavations, including subjects relating to forecasting and future projects, and operational challenges.”

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