LUCC Meeting Minutes June 6, 2019

Welcome – President Roman Hernandez called the meeting to order and welcomed all attendees.

Self-Introductions –    36    people were present.

Meeting Minutes –Meeting minutes were approved at the opening of the meeting.

Treasurers Report – Naomi Shirtcliff: Treasures report provided for April/May 2019 with the Year to Date summary.

Publicity & Education– Jim Franklin: Working on dropping off 811 flyers to replenish stock at rental agency counters. The flyers were sent out to previous members inviting them to come back. So far, one member has returned to LUCC as a result of the flyer.

Damage Report– Jason Williams: A few contractors were found digging before locates were due.

The installation of temporary electric pedestals / posts have been an issue. There were only 13 called in for 2019 which means they are installing 8ft ground rods without locates. In 2007 NWN had a home explosion due to a ground rod installation. NWN is formulating a letter to send to electrical contractors.

Web Page– Amy Abramson:  Not present.

OUCC Standards Review – Rocky Stewart: Not present.

Old Business: Discussed again the idea of using building inspectors as damage prevention officials; there is a gap between locates to the edge of the ROW to the building.

Still having an issue with sub-contractors not calling for their own locates. Concrete form stakes are installed 24” deep, not just 12”.

New Business:  It was suggested to require locating /811 education to be incorporated into electrician apprenticeship programs.

The PUC is referring damages to OSHA.

Kevin (EWEB) asked “what someone should do when an excavator finds unmarked active and/or abandoned lines in a dig area?” – It was agreed by most people that the excavator should call 811 for an emergency locate. Per rule 952-001-0090 Section 7 “…the excavator must notify the Oregon Utility Notification Center.” It was then asked “when working after hours, do facility operators have an obligation to have someone available to respond when unmarked facilities are found?” An afterhours emergency locate will provide response by the utilities locator on-call. But in some cases the locator might not be able to provide any additional information about the unmarked facility. Most operators have on-call supervisors, engineers or troubleshooters available to help identify and resolve conflict in a dig area. However, only the response to an emergency locate is addressed in the dig laws.

Program:  “Working around Small Cell sites” – Jaime Breckenridge, EWEB & Nick Nittolo, AT&T

What are Small Cell Sites?

Small Cells is a term for low powered radio access nodes designed to complement the larger macro networks. They have a shorter range and use smaller equipment than tradition cell sites. They are being used to provide additional capacity and cover to existing networks in high traffic areas or hard to reach locations. The equipment includes an antenna, disconnect switch and a cabinet, mounted at least 12’ above grade.There is a map with locations and legend on the City of Eugene’s website.

How does a Small Cell in the ROW affect me?

Through interagency collaboration we have developed a process for Small cell sites to be installed on EWEB poles, CenturyLink pole, and City of Eugene street light poles.

Radiofrequency (RF) safety training is available for those that will be working in close proximity to the sites. RSI – Radiofrequency Safety International offers a 2 hour webinar RF Safety Certification or a custom in-house training option. 

AT&T small cell site have two signs attached to the front of the cabinet (on the pole). The signs provide a caution notice that the worker is entering an area where RF fields may exceed the FCC Occupational exposure limits.  Each site has a unique USID number listed and “Keep “xx” feet away from the fronts of the antennas” is noted, specific to each site.

What is the process when working around Small Cells?

For EWEB we have an agreed shut-down procedure. When on-site and prior to the start of work, call AT&T’s Network Operating Center (NOC), (the phone number is found on the signage posted on the cabinet), notify them the site will be de-energized to perform work; provide the USID # and an estimated time to complete the work. De-energize the site using the disconnect switch. Using a RF monitor, verify the antenna is not receiving or transmitting. After work is complete, turn site back at the disconnect switch and call the NOC to notify the site is turned back on.

EWEB personnel that work on poles have been RF certified, which allows them to work closer to the antenna (they have a different Maximum Permissible Exposure, MPE) than someone who is considered general population or untrained. The untrained person may not be fully aware of their potential for exposure or cannot exercise control over their exposure.

Meeting Adjourned- 1:00 pm

Next Meeting Topic:  “How to Investigate a Damage Claim and Seek Reimbursement”      

 Presented by – Rocky Stewart and Susan Fields, Project Resources Group, Inc.