First Regular Session

Sixty-second General Assembly

LLS NO. R99­0913.01 Julie Hoerner







WHEREAS, There has been and continues to be significant growth occurring throughout Colorado, specifically the building of homes and businesses, and road expansion has surged and is projected to continue to expand; and

WHEREAS, Continued record growth, increased customer demand for more services from multiple providers, and use of newer excavation technology, specifically boring, has resulted in increased frequency and severity of damage to underground utility facilities; and

WHEREAS, The notice requirements for excavation in areas in or about underground utility facilities outlined in article 1.5 of title 9, Colorado Revised Statutes, have attempted to address the problems associated with excavation in or about underground utility facilities; and

WHEREAS, In today's environment these state laws may be the most appropriate mechanism to fulfill the mission of public safety and underground utility facility damage protection; and

WHEREAS, Evaluation and suggested modification of the requirements of article 1.5 of title 9, Colorado Revised Statutes, needs to be conducted to strengthen the effectiveness and enforcement of these provisions; and

WHEREAS, Over the past year, owners and operators of underground utility facilities have experienced an escalation in the severity of damage to gas, electricity, cable television, and telephone lines, which has negatively impacted network operations and the quality of service provided to customers; and

WHEREAS, Interrupted access to public health and safety providers, specifically through disruption of emergency 911 telephone service, occurs when telephone lines are cut or damaged through excavation; and

WHEREAS, Customers today rely more than ever on advanced, reliable utility and other systems where even the smallest interruption can create a significant impact on business and households; and

WHEREAS, Public health and safety is directly dependent on maintaining the integrity of the state's natural gas and electricity distribution systems; and

WHEREAS, Strict liability offers one solution to the problem of damage to underground utility facilities as a result of excavation, however, other solutions may exist and should be evaluated; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty­second General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein:

(1)  That the Transportation Legislation Review Committee, established pursuant to section 43­2­145, Colorado Revised Statutes, consistent with its statutory duty to review all transportation legislation, study and evaluate the effects of excavation, notice requirements, and the burden that damage to underground utility facilities causes to the consumers and the utility facility owners and operators by excavation for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness and enforcement of article 1.5 of title 9, Colorado Revised Statutes.

(2)  That the Transportation Legislation Review Committee further study methods to deter damage to underground utility facilities as well as cost recovery mechanisms for underground utility facilities damaged as a result of excavation.

(3)  That, in conducting such study, the Transportation Legislative Review Committee may consult, as necessary, with appropriate local, state, and federal agencies; interested members of the public, including, but not limited to, the Utility Notification Center of Colorado and members representing electric cooperatives, communications companies, electric distribution companies, water and sanitation districts, municipalities, liquid pipeline companies, gas distribution companies, gas transmission companies, cable television companies, contractor associations, facility owners' employees including a member of a labor bargaining unit, and contract locators; and interested members of the General Assembly. The study shall not require additional staff for any state agency or any additional appropriation to any state agency.

(4)  The Transportation Legislation Review Committee may appoint subcommittees to evaluate particular issues of this study.

(5)  The Transportation Legislation Review Committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the Legislative Council for the introduction of proposed legislation at the Second Regular Session of the Sixty­second General Assembly.

(6)  That all expenditures incurred in the conduct of the study enumerated in this resolution shall be approved by the chairperson of the Legislative Council and paid by vouchers and warrants drawn as provided by law from moneys allocated to the Legislative Council for legislative studies from appropriations made by the General Assembly.

Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to the Chairperson of the Transportation Legislation Review Committee, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.