Indiana’s 811 Law (IC 8-1-26) regulates both excavators and operators (a person who owns or operates an underground facility, such as a public utility) with respect to digging around underground facilities (i.e., lines used for communication, electricity, natural gas, petroleum, hazardous liquids, carbon dioxide fluids, water, steam, or sewerage).
The enforcement of the “Call Before You Dig,” or 811 Law by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) is limited to damages that occur to natural gas facilities. Damages to any other underground facilities – e.g., electric, cable, sewer, water lines – are not investigated by the IURC.
If you are excavating or digging. The 811 Law requires anyone excavating to dial 811 and contact Indiana 811 at least two (2) full working days but not more than twenty (20) calendar days before digging.
An excavator that is responsible for damage to an underground facility is required to:
- immediately notify the operator and Indiana 811 of the damage; and
- allow the operator reasonable time to accomplish necessary repairs before completing the excavation or demolition.
Penalty Schedules under the 811 Law
Non-Homeowners or Non-Tenants. Regarding notice, white lining, and two (2) foot clearance violations, the maximum civil penalty is $10,000.
Operators Who Fail to Locate or Mis-locate. The maximum civil penalty is $1,000.
Operators Who Fail to Join Indiana 811. The maximum civil penalty is $100 per violation (one violation per day).
Facility Locate Markings: Removal, Damage, or Alteration. The maximum civil penalty is $10,000.
False Emergency Reporting. The maximum civil penalty is $1,000.