Ohio House Passes Bill to Modify “Call-Before-You-Dig” System

COLUMBUS—Today the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that would update the state’s underground utility facility protection service law, also known as the Call-Before-You-Dig Law.

House Bill 458, sponsored by Representative Robert Sprague (R-Findlay), would create a more seamless one-call system, in which a consumer or excavator will call 8-1-1 and have all the utilities at an excavation site marked within 48 hours.

If enacted, utilities and excavators will participate in a protection service’s affiliated positive response system, an automated system that allows a utility to communicate with an excavator regarding a conflict between existing underground facilities and a proposed excavation site.

“With so many of the necessary lines, tubes and wires buried under our feet, it is important that we are taking the precautions we can to prevent future damages from developing at these excavation sites,” Representative Sprague said. “This bill makes needed changes to the ways our utility companies and commercial excavators perform their roles and will improve the safety of the general public.”

The Ohio Senate has been considering companion legislation to House Bill 458 sponsored by Senator Bill Coley (R-Liberty Township).