Extraordinary Circumstances Frequently Asked Questions
Updated on 4/14/2020
- I am a facility owner. Is the COVID-19 situation covered by EC?
The Georgia Dig Law’s definition (OCGA 25-9-3) of Extraordinary Circumstances (EC) describes the types of situations where it is “impractical or impossible” to comply with the requirements of the Law. For more information, click here or visit the Georgia811.com homepage and click on the icon that reads “Georgia 811 Addresses Covid-19 Concerns.”
- I am a facility owner. How do I declare EC for my company?
The information you will need to make an informed decision on EC is contained in the statute. In addition, Georgia 811 has procedures which outline the EC process and how a member facility owner/operator communicates to Georgia 811 when they want to declare EC after having received a notice of proposed excavation. For more information, click here or visit Georgia811.com, and click on “Extraordinary Circumstances” under the Member tab.
- I am a facility owner/operator and a member of Georgia 811. My utility office is closed or closing, does my company still have to respond to all tickets thru PRIS during the EC?
Yes. All utilities who declare EC with Georgia 811 must respond to each ticket with the 3J PRIS code within the two-business days response time until the EC has ended. Once the EC has ended the utility must respond to the locate request with marked, clear or a similar PRIS to complete the process.
- I am an excavator. Should I contact Georgia 811 if there is no answer when I call the utility list on the ticket?
No. Please keep trying to contact the utility.
- Is there a limit to the length of time a facility owner can declare EC?
No. When a utility declares EC they must provide a date range for when the EC starts and ends. After the facility owners have completed their reevaluations they may reinvoke EC again with new dates, if they deem it necessary, using the Georgia 811 process.
- I am a facility owner. Will I receive a late notice if I fail to respond with the 3J code within the two-business day response time?
- As a facility owner how do I notify excavators about EC on Large Project tickets?
If you are locating based on a signed marking agreement you should notify the excavator in writing of the EC and the dates of duration. If you are marking based on associated large project normal tickets, respond to PRIS with the 3J code.
- I am an excavator and have a normal locate ticket with a 3J response – may I dig?
While you may wish to wait before digging based upon the responses you receive from facility owners, the statute provides a process for excavation in the absence of an otherwise timely locate. Please review the statute, with your company leadership and/or legal counsel, for specific guidance and then determine whether to wait or proceed.
- Is it acceptable to have a Large Project meeting virtually?
Yes, it is acceptable to utilize virtual tools (video calls, conference calls, emails, etc.…) in lieu of an in-person meeting for new Large Projects. You are encouraged to document and/or record your meetings and communication.
- I am an excavator. What about emergency excavations during EC?
Members should be aware that the statute has provisions for an emergency excavation even in instances where there has been an Extraordinary Circumstance response from a given facility owner to a given dig notice. Excavators choosing to proceed must do so in compliance with these emergency statutory provisions. If you have further questions, please contact the Georgia Public Service Commission.