The State of Texas enacted its first damage prevention law over a decade ago during the 76th Legislative Session and became effective in September 1999. Texas Utilities Code, Title 5 - Provisions Affecting the Operation of Utility Facilities, Chapter 251 - Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety, details how certain underground utilities, including most pipeline facilities, are required to be a member of a "Call Before You Dig" one-call notification center for the purpose of locating and marking these underground facilities prior to excavation activity. The law created the Texas Underground Facility Notification Corporation or One-Call Board of Texas, to implement statewide notification services and oversight of standards for the state"s one-call service providers. This statute generally known as the "Texas One-Call Law" also gives excavators guidance on the required notice prior to excavation. Violations of Chapter 251, not relating to the notification centers, would be referred, by the One-Call Board, to a local county attorney for legal action.
In 2005 due to limitations in existing regulations for excavation activity near pipelines, the legislature adopted HB 2161 and SB 9 that had provisions giving the Railroad Commission of Texas compliance and enforcement authority for the movement of earth near pipelines. In late May 2007, the Railroad Commission adopted Title 16 - Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 18 - Underground Pipeline Damage Prevention, which became effective September 2007. These rules include safety standards and best practices for both excavators and pipeline operators.
These new rules initiated the creation of the Damage Prevention section within the Pipeline Safety Division of the Railroad Commission. Along with the review of pipeline damage reports from excavation activity, staff also gives educational and awareness presentations of Chapter 18 rules, on-line reporting guidelines and safe digging practices. We continue to support the national "Call 811" campaign.
MISSION STATEMENT: To strengthen Pipeline Damage Prevention in Texas through compliance and enforcement activities, plus continued public awareness and stakeholder education.
Title 16 , Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Part 1
Chapter 18 Underground Pipeline Damage Prevention Rules
RRC Contact Information
Public Incident Query
Frequently Asked Questions
Legal Holidays - Chapter 662 Sec. 662.021
One-Call Board of Texas
Common Ground Alliance
CGA: Best Practices v. 10.0
Texas Pipeline Awareness Alliance