HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 124
(By Delegates Fleischauer, Barill, Barrett, Butler, Cadle, Cooper, Craig, Eldridge, A. Evans, Ferro, Hartman, Iaquinta, Manypenny, Marcum, Moye, Paxton, Pethtel, R. Phillips, Pino, D. Poling, Romine, Rowan, Skaff, Skinner, R. Smith, Sponaugle, Staggers, Stowers, Wells and Williams)
Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to study whether all operators of underground facilities should be required to be a member of a one-call system, West Virginia 811, also known as Miss Utility of West Virginia.
Whereas, Under current West Virginia law, any privately owned public water utility regulated by the Public Service Commission, any state agency, any municipality or county, or any municipal or county agency are exempt from being a member of the one-call system for the area in which the underground facility is located; and
Whereas, West Virginia has over four hundred memberships of businesses and organizations comprised of utilities, oil and gas producers, pipeline companies, telecommunication providers and related businesses and organizations throughout the state; and
Whereas, While some underground facility operators are required to be members, West Virginia 811 is unable to provide a one hundred percent accurate report to the caller or excavator due to one-fourth of the underground facility operators being exempt from membership; and
Whereas, Requiring all operating underground facilities to have membership with the West Virginia 811 call system will improve public safety, contractor safety and greater reporting accuracy; and
Whereas, West Virginia 811 provides underground mapping to prevent accidents from digging; and
Whereas, Because not everyone is a member, there are gaps in the map provided by West Virginia 811; and
Whereas, If all underground facilities are not required to be a member of the one-call system, individuals and/or contractors could possibly be injured or killed; and
Whereas, Without accurate mapping of all underground facilities, there is a likelihood that important utility services could be damaged or interrupted; and
Whereas, While not required, exempted facilities may voluntarily become members of the one call system. Currently, approximately three-fourths of the members of West Virginia 811 are voluntary members; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to authorize a study to show whether there is a need to require the currently exempt operators of underground facilities to be members of a one-call system, West Virginia 811, also known as Miss Utility of West Virginia; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the Legislature, no later than the first of day of the regular session of the Legislature, 2014, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, if any, together with drafts of any legislation to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.