Ear to the Ground - Spring 2013 - (Page 15)

FEATURE B Y G E O F F F I T Z G I B B O N , E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R , O N TA R I O O N E C A L L Bill 8 is Law: Now What? B ill 8, or to use its proper title, the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act 2012, became law June 19, 2012. What does that mean now for contractors and the owners of buried infrastructure? What do you have to do to stay ay in compliance? The draft regulations that will shape pe the final implementation of the act are e passing through the consultation phase e now, with more than 60 key stakeholders being asked for comments, and so o not all of the answers are known yet. We do know the broad list of obligations that the act applies to excavators and owners: • Anyone who breaks the ground for any purpose must call for locates within at least five days of the planned dig. • Excavators aret not permitted to break the ground unless they have all the necessary locates or a written Clear notice; a locate’s paint marks and the associated locate sheet’s information must agree. • Owners must register with ON1Call the location of their buried plant and must also identify for ON1Call where the locate tickets are to be sent for action. • Non-municipal owners (600 or so) must register by June 18, 2013; municipalities (275 approximately) have until June 18, 2014. • Owners must also provide the requested locates within five days unless it is unreasonable in the circumstances (severe weather events, for example) or another period has been agreed with the excavator. For full details of the act: contact ON1Call, the Ministry of Consumer Services or check out E-laws online. Both excavators and members are non-compliant if they fail to observe the above conditions, and ON1Call has been given the role and authority to proceed against either party— if necessary—to ensure compliance. A number of actions are available to the ON1Call Compliance Committee, from requiring education and staff training about workplace safety, and/ or a short-term compliance plan, to financial sanctions and fines. The compliance process is being defined but some of its guiding principals will be: 1. What is reasonable in the circumstances? 2. How prevalent is the organization’s behaviour? 3. What is appropriate? S P R I N G 13 4. Is another regulator already involved, and enforcing ON1Call’s penalties also would be unwarranted? The coverage of the act is being refined to reflect what is intended by the geographical criteria regarding infrastructure crossing a public right of way or is in its vicinity. We all want to protect the various utility services we rely upon, such as water, telecommunications, hydro and gas, but does the n act a really intend to cover every homeowner who also owns the sewer lato eral between the property line and the e sewer trunk, because the local municise pality passed a bylaw that passes over pa that th ownership? Similarly, is it intended that every cottage owner should register because co the demarcation point for his electrical service is a pole-mounted transformer at ser the roadside? These and many other questions are T being bein resolved by the Ministry of Consumer Services, in conjunction with ON1Call and Serv various vario subject matter experts. What is the future likely to hold, now that Bill 8 is law? My guesses: 1. The act will lead to greater discussion and negotiation between owners and excavators, now that everyone is covered by the act; we are all in it together. 2. It should lead to better coordination between all parties, so that some of the current wastage caused by outdated locates, etc, is eliminated. 3. The “bad apples” who chronically claim they either cannot provide timely locates or have insufficient enough time to get proper locates, will be more visible and will have to plan their work and resources better, or face the consequences; what is it about each year having a peak digging season that is such a surprise? 4. A gradual acceptance of best practices as just normal operating procedure in the future Increased professionalism and profitability for those who get ahead of the curve by embracing new methods, such as rationalizing the way locates are performed; for example, does it make economic sense for a municipality to have separate locating staff for each of its services? The pioneers of this legislation cannot be thanked enough for their commitment and foresight. The rest of us now need to grasp the act’s challenge, of making Ontario the safest and most efficient excavation environment that we can. ■ 15 http://www.orcga.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Ear to the Ground - Spring 2013

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
GET THE WHOLE PICTURE
811 LOGO TO BE FEATURED AT NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RACES THIS YEAR
WHERE WE ARE TODAY
10TH ANNIVERSARY SYMPOSIUM
BILL 8 IS LAW: NOW WHAT?
ECLRT AND SUE – NATURAL TRANSIT PARTNERS
HALL OF FAME/MEMBER OF THE YEAR
PAST MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARDS AND HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
EXCAVATOR OF THE YEAR AWARDS
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: REVISED FEE SCHEDULES – EFFECTIVE: MAY 1, 2013
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

Ear to the Ground - Spring 2013

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