LUCC Meeting Minutes May 2, 2019

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

Self-Introductions –   23 people were present.

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

Treasurers Report – Naomi Shirtcliff: Not Present

Publicity & Education– Jim Franklin: Sent out 40 or 50 “we miss you” letters to previous members in hopes to recruit them back. We have a list of new members that we’d like to invite but for now will wait to send those out due to the concern of capacity at Sizzlers for meeting space. Proposing to offer a free lunch (Sizzlers) for new members that attend a meeting.

Damage Report– Jason Williams: NWN had a few gas damages last month and we sent five new letters to contractors. The damages included two hits due to a mis-located gas line, an excavator cut and removed a steel line because they thought it was abandoned, and a hit due to excavation occurring before the ticket was due. Overall, we have seen an improvement from the companies that have received letters. They are now calling in locates and following the dig laws.

Web Page– Amy Abramson: Website is up to date. A few edits have been made to the letter.

OUCC Standards Review – Rocky Stewart: “Delay of Excavation” – Pg 30: “An excavator may not begin excavation until they’ve received a response from all facility operators or until at least two full business days have passed”. Rocky recommends even if two business days have passed, the excavator should also verify that all of the facility operators have responded.

Old Business: Roman: we are still waiting for an update on the new tax accountant. I will let you know when I hear more information.

New Business:  The next quarterly OUCC / OUNC meeting will be June 11th & 12th at Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond.

Program:  Kevin Hennessey – Oregon PUC: Open discussion and Q&A

Background: OPUC (Oregon Public Utility Commission) – The commission is chartered by the legislation. Kevin oversees the gas pipeline safety and most of the Underground compliance issues. The PUC operates on a complaint driven process, there are no “excavation cops” patrolling for issues. OSHA will go out looking for concerns and will ask the PUC to investigate if warranted. Anyone can file a complaint to the PUC that will trigger an investigation, a complaint doesn’t have to come from a facility operator or business but whomever files the complaint will be named as the “complainant” in the PUC’s records.

In order for an OSHA investigation to occur, four criteria must be met: A safety hazard must exist, it must involve an employee’s safety, prior knowledge, and an existing OSHA rule. It is recommended to follow OUNC’s rules to help achieve OSHA’s rules.

Q: Does the State of Oregon require new CCB licenses to acknowledge any 811 training?

A: Not to our knowledge. But LUCC could advocate for it if desired.

Q: Can sub-contractors work under a general contractors locate ticket?

A: No they can’t. A sub-contractor can call or go online and submit for a duplicate ticket. You just need to original ticket number. A new ticket number is generated with the sub-contractors contact information. This saves a little time by not creating the location and work description from scratch. It also helps the locators identify that this ticket is associated to the original ticket. Each ticket caller / excavator is responsible for managing their own ticket and maintaining the marks.

Q: What about when a new line is installed after locates are done but before excavation begins?

A: Utility installers / operators are required to paint all new installations with the appropriate locate marks. 

Q: What is your opinion on the letter we are sending to contractors?

A: It is a good start but you should make sure it contains the “HELP” information; H = “Happening”, give explanation of what happened, E= Example, give specific example of the concern, L= “Left as-is”, define what the consequence is if left as-is, P = “Plan of action”, give suggestion of how to remedy the issue.

Also suggested we should verify with our individual organizations to see what kind of correspondences are already being sent out, if any, (in regards to locates and damages) to ensure we aren’t sending conflicting information. And ask other Oregon UCC’s if and how they are enforcing the dig laws, so the messages can become uniform. 

Kevin left us with the contact information for the PUC Consumer Services Dept:

503-378-6600 puc.consumer@state.or.us

To file a complaint online: www.oregon.gov/puc

Meeting Adjourned- 1:00  pm

Next Meeting Topic: “Working Around Small Cell Sites”

Speakers: Jaime Breckenridge – Joint Use Coordinator, EWEB and Nick Nittolo, AT&T