PROPERTY IN GENERAL
UNDERGROUND FACILITIES DAMAGE PREVENTION
55-2203. damage prevention board. (1) The Idaho damage prevention board is hereby created and made a part of the division of occupational and professional licenses. The principal purpose of the board is to reduce damages to underground facilities and to promote safe excavation practices through education directed toward excavators, underground facility owners and the public at large. The board also shall review complaints of alleged violations of this chapter. It shall be the responsibility and duty of the administrator to administer this chapter, and the administrator shall exercise such powers and duties as are reasonably necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
(2) The board shall consist of eleven (11) members, each of whom shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the governor. All members of the board shall be qualified by experience, knowledge and integrity in formulating rules, reviewing complaints referred to it, assessing penalties, and properly performing the functions of the board. Of the eleven (11) members, one (1) each shall represent the interests of the following designated groups and be:
(a) A city official or a county official;
(b) An employee or elected official of a highway district;
(c) An employee of the Idaho public utilities commission;
(d) An employee or officer of a one-number notification service entity or a member of the Idaho utility coordinating council or similar cooperative statewide nonprofit organization created to coordinate the protection of underground facilities in specific geographic portions of the state;
(e) An employee or officer of an underground facility owner;
(f) An employee or officer of an underground pipeline facility owner;
(g) An employee or officer of a rural underground facility owner;
(h) An employee or officer of a contractor;
(i) An employee or officer of a building contractor;
(j) An employee or officer of an excavator; and
(k) An employee or owner of an agricultural enterprise, a representative of the agriculture industry, or an employee or an official of a public entity that delivers water for irrigation.
(3) Each member of the board shall serve a term of four (4) years, and such terms shall be staggered. The initial board shall have three (3) members whose terms expire July 1, 2018; four (4) members whose terms expire July 1, 2019; and four (4) members whose terms expire July 1, 2020. Thereafter, each board member shall be appointed for a term of four (4) years. No member of the board may be appointed to more than two (2) consecutive terms. A member may continue to serve until a successor is appointed. A successor must represent the same designated group that his predecessor was appointed to represent.
(4) The board shall meet within thirty (30) days after the appointment of all its members and thereafter at such other times as may be expedient and necessary for the proper performance of its duties, but the board shall hold at least two (2) regular meetings per year. At the board’s first meeting, the members shall elect one (1) of their number to be chairman and one (1) to serve as the vice chairman. The chairman may serve in such capacity for a one (1) year term and may not serve in such capacity for more than two (2) consecutive terms. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The administrator shall serve as the secretary to the damage prevention board.
(5) Each member of the board shall be compensated as provided by section 59-509(n), Idaho Code.
(6) Each member of the board who is a contractor shall be registered in accordance with chapter 52, title 54, Idaho Code, and shall be in good standing.
(7) The activities of the board shall be funded by a fee established by the board and promulgated in rule. Such fee shall be adopted by the board by no less than eight (8) affirmative votes at a meeting duly called for such purpose at which a quorum is present and shall be imposed uniformly upon all of the underground facility owners required by the provisions of this chapter to participate in and cooperate with the one-number notification service. The fee shall be assessed upon an underground facility owner each time such owner receives notice from a one-number notification service as required by section 55-2205, Idaho Code. The fee is established to defray the expenses of the board and the division in supervising, regulating and administering the provisions of this chapter, and the provision of services hereunder. The fee assessed upon an underground facility owner shall be collected by a one-number notification service and payable to the board in accordance with a schedule and in a manner established by the board in rule. All fees collected by the board shall be deposited with the state treasurer to be credited to the occupational licenses fund.
(8) The board shall cause educational materials regarding safe digging practices and the dangers of failing to provide notice prior to excavating to be prepared and distributed statewide on an ongoing basis. The board may enter into agreements with other entities for this purpose.
(9) The board, by rule, may adopt or create training programs on all pertinent underground damage prevention topics, which may include, but are not limited to, safe excavation, locating and marking of facilities, determining facility damage, emergency procedures, excavator downtime, pre-marking of intended excavation areas, and procedures used when encountering unmarked facilities, for general use or for remedial training that may be ordered by the board pursuant to section 55-2211, Idaho Code.
(10) The board shall periodically review the effectiveness of the methods used for maintaining effective communications among stakeholders from receipt of an excavation notification until successful completion of the excavation and may adopt, by rule, methods to maintain or improve these communications among stakeholders.
(11) The board shall review complaints alleging violations of this chapter by any party against any other party subject to the jurisdiction of the board involving practices related to public safety and underground facilities damage prevention, including but not limited to notification procedures, pre-marking of areas to be excavated, marking of facilities, excavation practices, excavator downtime, inaccurate location of facilities, untimely location of facilities, untimely commencement of excavation, failure of a permitting entity to reinstate a permit in a timely manner, failure of an underground facility owner to participate in a one-number notification service as required, or failure by a party to report damage data when required, and may impose appropriate training requirements or enforcement discipline as authorized by this chapter. The proceedings shall be governed by the provisions of section 55-2211 and chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code. Any party aggrieved by the action of the board shall be entitled to judicial review thereof in accordance with the provisions of chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code.
(12) To continually evaluate and improve program effectiveness, the board shall analyze the data collected pursuant to section 55-2208, Idaho Code, including the number of reported damage and downtime events and trends, the causes of such damage and any recommendations to further reduce the number of damage or downtime events annually. The board shall make its analysis publicly available.
(13) The board shall adopt, by rule, a process for reviewing the adequacy of underground facility owners’ use of internal performance measures for those locating underground facilities and recommending changes to improve such performance.
(14) The board shall adopt, by rule, a process for reviewing and promoting the use, by all appropriate stakeholders, of improving technologies that may enhance communications, underground facility locating capability and the gathering and analysis of appropriate data.
(15) The board is authorized and directed to promulgate rules consistent with this act for the administration of this chapter and to effectuate the purpose thereof, except as may be limited or prohibited by law and the provisions of this chapter.
(16) The board may exercise such powers and duties as are reasonably necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter. The board is authorized to and may, among other activities:
(a) Hold meetings and attend or be represented at such meetings, prepare and publish rules pertaining to this section, make investigation or inquiry, conduct hearings, report findings and enter orders in matters over which the board has authority;
(b) Summon witnesses to appear and testify before it on any matter within the provisions of this chapter. No person shall be required to testify outside the county wherein he resides or where his principal place of business is located. A summons to testify shall be issued and served in like manner as a subpoena of a witness issued from the district court, or in any other manner consistent with the procedures of the division of occupational and professional licenses;
(c) Administer oaths and take affirmations of witnesses appearing before the board and appoint competent persons to issue subpoenas, administer oaths and take testimony, and appoint hearing officers;
(d) Impose civil penalties and conduct hearings related thereto for violations of this chapter or the rules of the board;
(e) Enter into agreements with any vendor or contractor to provide services or administer any obligation imposed on the board or the administrator by law, as well as the authority to make expenditures, and to make purchases in accordance with chapter 57, title 67, Idaho Code, to effectuate such agreements; and
(f) Delegate to the administrator the power to perform ministerial functions, conduct investigations, recommend and collect civil penalties on its behalf and appoint hearing officers.
(17) The board may establish by administrative rule the fines to be paid for penalties issued for violations of this chapter. In no case shall the penalty exceed the limits prescribed in section 55-2211, Idaho Code.
(18) The board may receive contributions, gifts and grants on behalf of and in aid of the program. Such contributions, gifts and grants shall be deposited in the occupational licenses fund.
[55-2203, added 2016, ch. 325, sec. 3, p. 896; am. 2021, ch. 222, sec. 43, p. 654; am. 2021, ch. 224, sec. 79, p. 691.]