Bill S-229: Underground Infrastructure
The senate is currently reviewing a private members bill S-229 "An Act respecting underground infrastructure safety" that would:
- require operators of underground infrastructure that is federally regulated or on federal land to register that infrastructure with a notification centre;
- require people who are planning to dig to first make a "locate request" with the relevant notification centre; and
- require operators of underground infrastructure to provide a clear description of the location of the underground infrastructure and to provide an all-clear prior to proceeding with any excavation.
This Act if passed would apply to member infrastructure only on federal lands. It’s also important to note that it doesn’t suggest forming a new notification centre, rather it would just use existing centres in each province – the challenge will be in provinces where a "one-call" centre doesn’t exist. Where a centre isn’t already established it could create costs both for the utility to register infrastructure with it and for the jurisdiction to establish.
A concern with the proposed Act is around fees for locates – the Act would not allow utilities to charge a fee unless after hours, which may not be the current practice for some.
The proposed Act
Access Bill S-229: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=8450603