69-4-502. Information to be sought before excavation -- notification -- exceptions. (1) (a) Except as provided in subsection (2), an excavator may not make or begin an excavation without first obtaining information concerning the possible location of an underground facility from each underground facility owner having the right to bury underground facilities that is a member of a notification center pursuant to subsection (3).
(b) Information concerning the possible location of underground facilities in accordance with subsection (1)(a) is obtained when:
(i) underground facilities are located and marked in accordance with 69-4-503; or
(ii) underground facility owners notified by a notification center respond through the notification center that their underground facilities are located and marked, or that locating or marking is not necessary, and the excavator receives a positive response that locates and marks are either complete or unneeded.
(2) (a) A registered land surveyor or a person under the supervision of a registered land surveyor may hand dig for shallow survey monuments at a depth of 12 inches or less below the road surface of a highway or at the intersection of the center lines of public streets.
(b) The registered land surveyor, prior to hand digging, shall obtain proper approval from the appropriate governing authority regarding safety and pavement repair and, when appropriate, shall reference the monument upon exposure.
(c) The governing authority is not liable for any damages caused or suffered by the registered land surveyor or any person under the supervision of the registered land surveyor.
(d) The registered land surveyor is liable for damages incurred regarding facility destruction.
(e) An underground facility owner is not liable for any damages suffered by the registered land surveyor or any person under the control of the registered land surveyor.
(3) An underground facility owner must be a member of a notification center.
(4) (a) Beginning October 1, 2017, an underground facility owner shall pay an annual fee pursuant to 69-4-522(2)(c) to the department.
(b) Beginning July 1, 2017, to facilitate the collection of annual fees and to assist with the proper assessment of civil penalties, a notification center that serves underground facilities located in Montana shall annually, on a date determined by the department, provide the department with:
(i) a list of all its underground facility owners who are members;
(ii) a list of the outgoing locate requests for each underground facility owner and the requests for a locate and mark from each excavator over the past 12-month period; and
(iii) a list of all incident reports received over the past 12-month period.