ND Dig Law


2023 change language:

Dredging‘ was added to the definition of excavation.

49-23-01. Definitions.
7. “Excavation” means any operation in which earth, rock, or other materials in or below the ground is moved or otherwise displaced by means of hand or power tools, power equipment, or explosives and includes grading, trenching, digging, ditching, dredging, drilling, augering, tunneling, boring, scraping, and cable or pipe plowing and driving.

2021 Change language :

Language was added to the law on August 1st of 2023 the requires an excavator to call 911 immediately if damage occures to an underground facility that results in the escape of flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas or liquid.

49-23-06. Damage to facilities – Penalty.
1. a. If any damage occurs to an underground facility or its protective covering, the excavator shall notify the operator as soon as reasonably possible. When the operator receives a damage notice, the operator shall dispatch, as soon as reasonably possible, personnel to the damage area to investigate. If the damage results in the escape of flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas or liquid, the excavator shall:

(1) Call 911 immediately;
(2) Notify the pipeline operator immediately

65th Legislative Section – 2017
  1. Manual digging: Clarifies careful and prudent digging to mean an excavator must manually dig within two feet of the centerline indicated for any located facility; ND Century Code 49-23-01, Definition 3.
  2. Locate times: Clarifies start time of the locate period as the later of:
    1. 48 hours beginning at 12:01am the day after the request is submitted to the notification center, plus any 24 hour extension provided through the notification center, or
    2. The period between the submission of the locate request to the notification center and the noted date and time of excavation;
      ND Century Code 49-23-01, Definition 12. Also ND Century Code 49-23-04, Subsection 1 and Subsection 6, paragraph a.
  3. Positive response: Mandatory for operators, allowing excavation to begin as soon as possible; ND Century Code 49-23-01, Definition 16. Also ND Century Code 49-23-04, Subsection 4, Subsection 5, paragraph e, and Subsection 6, paragraph n.
  4. Change in wording on who shall participate in the costs of a statewide notification center. ND Century Code 49-23-03 Subsection 2.
  5. Board seat: Adds a seat on the ND One Call Board of Directors for gathering and transmission oil and gas pipelines; ND Century Code 49-23-03, Subsection 4, paragraph a.
  6. Site identification: Requires an excavator to identify the area to be excavated by physical or electronic means, or other means as agreed upon by the parties to the ticket (narrows the scope of the excavation area for location purposes); ND Century Code 49-23-04, Subsection 2.
  7. Ticket size: Defines urban ticket areas as three contiguous city blocks in urban areas, four contiguous quarter sections, or five linear miles in rural areas.; ND Century Code 49-23-04, Subsection 3.
  8. Costs for non-locatable facilities: If an excavator cannot expose the facility within two feet as marked by the operator, requests assistance from operator and operator fails to assist within a reasonable amount of time, the operator is responsible for the excavator’s reasonable costs to expose the facility; ND Century Code 49-23-04, Subsection 6, paragraph b.
  9. Proof of excavation: Burden of proof lies with excavator (ticket requestor) to show excavation has occurred when disputing a bill for a third locate request on the same ticket (current law allows for billing reasonable locate costs for third and any subsequent locate requests on the same ticket when no excavation has occurred); ND Century Code 49-23-04, Subsection 6, paragraph h.
  10. Repeat locate requests: If PSC determines additional locate requests were caused by an excavator’s failure to maintain and remove markings, the excavator would be responsible for reasonable locate costs; ND Century Code 49-23-04, Subsection 6, paragraph j.
  11. Survey ticket: Creates a survey ticket option for non-excavation locate requests, which allows for electronic data exchange, reduces flag management issues, and has a longer locate window (5 days); ND Century Code 49-23-04.1 Survey.
  12. Culpability: Changes the level of proof from ‘knowingly’ to ‘willfully’, which includes ‘knowingly’, ‘recklessly’, and ‘intentionally’; ND Century Code 49-23-06, Subsection 1, paragraph c.


Please contact Ryan Schmaltz with North Dakota One Call at ryans@occinc.com

Download ND Century Code 49-23

ND Century Code 49-23.pdf

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