Damage to Underground Facilities
The Pipeline Safety Division is responsible for investigating alleged violations of Indiana's 811 law (Indiana Code chapter 8-1-26) and reporting its findings to the Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee. Below is information about locate tickets, the Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee (UPPAC), how to report issues related to underground facilities and other resources.
To contact the Commission’s Pipeline Safety Division, click here.
To view an interactive map of Indiana buried pipeline damages that have completed the IURC's review process, click here
- Respond in a Damage Case
To respond in an Indiana 811 Law (excavation damage) case, please fill out the online or printable form:
Printable forms and other case documentation can be sent via email to PipelineDamageCase@urc.in.gov. Forms submitted via the online form link will go directly to this email address. Please note that when submitting information, you should receive an automated email if your response was received. If you do not receive an automated response within a few minutes, your submission was not received.
You can also report a violation of the law (not involving a damage) at the form here.
Summary of Procedures & Respondent’s Rights: Link
- Locate Tickets
Requesting a locate ticket is the first step to take before an excavation or demolition. “Excavation” generally includes any action where something is going into or being removed from the ground. It includes actions you may not normally associate with excavation, like planting or removing trees or fences, putting stakes in the ground for a tent or before pouring concrete, or probing to find things in the ground, like septic tanks.
Property Owners & Tenants
Property owners and tenants are not always required to have a locate ticket. If a property owner or tenant is excavating only with a hand tool, and 12 inches or less into the ground, and on their own property, a locate ticket is not required by law. However, locates are still encouraged. Some underground facilities can be shallow and easily damaged.
Requesting a Ticket
You can request a locate by contacting Indiana 811. The phone lines are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also request locates online. See Indiana 811’s website for more information. Before you contact 811, make sure you have the following information ready:
- The location of the excavation – a street address, legal description, highway location, or a white-lined area with paint. Be ready to provide the township and county where you will be excavating. Be specific: if you are only working in the backyard of a property, note that in the ticket so the front yard is not marked. Do not include more than you intend to excavate within the next 20 days.
- Contact information for yourself and, if you are not the one excavating, the person responsible for the excavation.
- The start date, anticipated duration, and type of work being performed.
- Whether explosives, blasting, or boring will be used.
- The approximate depth of the excavation.
A locate ticket is good for 20 calendar days. Once you request locates, utilities with underground facilities will mark the lines within two full working days. This excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. If you cannot complete your project within 20 calendar days of requesting the locates, request an additional locate. Build in two full working days for the area to be remarked, which means requesting a re-mark at least two days before your ticket expires, or more if you are near a weekend or holiday.
Locates may be flags, paint, stakes, or a combination. Locates are color-coded to show the type of facility that is marked. Click here for more information.
- Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee
The Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee (UPPAC) was established under Indiana Code § 8-1-26-23 to act in an advisory capacity to the Commission concerning the implementation and enforcement of the damage to underground facilities law, Indiana Code 8-1-26. The Advisory Committee may recommend penalties with respect to persons who the Commission’s Pipeline Safety Division has found in violation of the law, including civil penalties, participation in education or training programs developed and implemented by the Commission, warning letters, and development of plans to avoid future violations of the law.
Meeting Dates & Locations
The UPPAC will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. EST via teleconference. In accordance with Indiana Governor Holcomb's Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which provide for alternative procedures during this time of public health emergency, please note that the meeting will be conducted remotely via WebEx. Please see the public notice for more information.
Cases to Be Heard by the Committee.
Cases to be heard by the Committee will be posted at least seven days prior to the next meeting. Please note that the case list is current as of the time of posting; however, items may be added or deleted at the discretion of the UPPAC. Respondents shall be notified as soon as practicable if their case is affected.
Cases to be heard at the Feb. 09, 2021, UPPAC meeting can be found here.
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The penalty schedule is a guidance document to assist the UPPAC in determining penalties under Indiana Code chapter 8-1-26. It provides general principles for determining penalties. However, it is not meant to hinder case-by-case decision-making by the Committee based on specific facts of a case.
*Current Penalty Schedule for Dates of Damages after Jan. 1, 2021:PDF
Previous Penalty Schedules
- Penalty schedule for dates of damages from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020: PDF
- Penalty schedule for dates of damage from Jan. 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2019: PDF
- Penalty schedule for dates of damage from Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2018: PDF
- Penalty schedule for dates of damage from Jan. 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2017: PDF
- Penalty schedule for dates of damage from Jan. 1, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2016: PDF
- Penalty schedule for dates of damage from Sept. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2015: PDF
Request for Public Hearing
If you disagree with the findings or recommended penalty, you have the right to a hearing before the IURC. Requests for hearing must be filed within 30 days of your receipt of this letter and must comply with the IURC’s rules of practice and procedure in Title 170 of the Indiana Administrative Code, posted at http://iac.iga.in.gov/iac/. In particular, note 170 IAC 1-1.1-3, Filings and communications with the commission, and computation of time, and 170 IAC 1-1.1-5.5, Excavation damage cases.
Contact the UPPAC
For more information, please contact the staff below:
Ben Warren, Advisory Committee Chairman
Office: 317-927-4622 | Email
Aaron Holeman, IURC Pipeline Safety Engineer
Office: 317-232-2773 | Email
DeAnna Poon, Advisory Committee Legal Advisor & IURC Assistant General Counsel
Office: 317-232-6735 | Email
Legal Address: Attn: Legal Counsel, Indiana Underground Plant Protection Advisory Committee, c/o Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, 101 West Washington Street, Suite 1500 E, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
- Final Orders for Indiana 811 Law Violations
Under the Indiana 811 law, the IURC’s Pipeline Safety Division (Division) is required to investigate alleged violations. As mentioned above, when the Division finds violations, it must forward its findings to the UPPAC. The UPPAC then recommends penalties that can include fines, training, warning letters, and corrective action plans. The IURC makes the final determination to uphold or reverse the Division’s finding of violation and approve or disapprove the UPPAC’s recommended penalty.
Final orders for Indiana 811 law violations can be found here.
- Additional Information
Frequently Asked Questions regarding damages to underground facilities can be found here. To learn more about the regulation of gas utilities, click on the Pipeline Safety Division’s main webpage here.
Information about mandatory training, as well as voluntary training opportunities, can be found here.
The UPPA fund is an accumulation of civil penalties (fines) that were levied and collected due to violations of the Indiana 811 law. Learn more here.