(a) In General.— The Secretary may make a grant to a State authority (including a municipality with respect to intrastate gas pipeline transportation) to assist in improving the overall quality and effectiveness of a damage prevention program of the State authority under subsection (e) if the State authority—
(1)has in effect an annual certification under section
60105 or an agreement under section
(A)has in effect an effective damage prevention program that meets the requirements of subsection (b); or
(B)demonstrates that it has made substantial progress toward establishing such a program, and that such program will meet the requirements of subsection (b).
(b) Damage Prevention Program Elements.— An effective damage prevention program includes the following elements:
(1)Participation by operators, excavators, and other stakeholders in the development and implementation of methods for establishing and maintaining effective communications between stakeholders from receipt of an excavation notification until successful completion of the excavation, as appropriate.
(2)A process for fostering and ensuring the support and partnership of stakeholders, including excavators, operators, locators, designers, and local government in all phases of the program.
(3)A process for reviewing the adequacy of a pipeline operator’s internal performance measures regarding persons performing locating services and quality assurance programs.
(4)Participation by operators, excavators, and other stakeholders in the development and implementation of effective employee training programs to ensure that operators, the one-call center, the enforcing agency, and the excavators have partnered to design and implement training for the employees of operators, excavators, and locators.
(5)A process for fostering and ensuring active participation by all stakeholders in public education for damage prevention activities.
(6)A process for resolving disputes that defines the State authority’s role as a partner and facilitator to resolve issues.
(7)Enforcement of State damage prevention laws and regulations for all aspects of the damage prevention process, including public education, and the use of civil penalties for violations assessable by the appropriate State authority.
(8)A process for fostering and promoting the use, by all appropriate stakeholders, of improving technologies that may enhance communications, underground pipeline locating capability, and gathering and analyzing information about the accuracy and effectiveness of locating programs.
(9)A process for review and analysis of the effectiveness of each program element, including a means for implementing improvements identified by such program reviews.
(c) Factors to Consider.— In making grants under this section, the Secretary shall take into consideration the commitment of each State to ensuring the effectiveness of its damage prevention program, including legislative and regulatory actions taken by the State.
(d) Application.— If a State authority files an application for a grant under this section not later than September 30 of a calendar year and demonstrates that the Governor (or chief executive) of the State has designated it as the appropriate State authority to receive the grant, the Secretary shall review the State’s damage prevention program to determine its effectiveness.
(e) Use of Funds.— A grant under this section to a State authority may only be used to pay the cost of the personnel, equipment, and activities that the State authority reasonably requires for the calendar year covered by the grant to develop or carry out its damage prevention program in accordance with subsection (b).
(f) Nonapplicability of Limitation.— A grant made under this section is not subject to the section
60107(a) limitation on the maximum percentage of funds to be paid by the Secretary.
(g) Limitation on Use of Funds.— Funds provided to carry out this section may not be used for lobbying or in direct support of litigation.
(h) Damage Prevention Process Defined.— In this section, the term “damage prevention process” means a process that incorporates the principles described in sections
(i) Authorization of Appropriations.— There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to provide grants under this section $1,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2015. Such funds shall remain available until expended.
Pub. L. 112–90, § 3(b), (c),Jan. 3, 2012, 125 Stat. 1906, provided that, effective 2 years after Jan. 3, 2012, subsec. (a) is amended as follows:
(1) in paragraph (1) by striking “and” after the semicolon;
(2) in paragraph (2)(B) by striking “(b).” and inserting “(b); and”; and
(3) by adding at the end the following:
(3) does not provide any exemptions to municipalities, State agencies, or their contractors from the one-call notification system requirements of the program.
Amendment by section 3(b) ofPub. L. 112–90effective 2 years after Jan. 3, 2012, see section 3(c) ofPub. L. 112–90, set out as a note under section
6103 of this title.
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