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SB 1083 and SB 1084, introduced by Sen. Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek), would update the regulatory regime established by the “Miss Dig” notification system for underground excavation and blasting, which was created in the 1970s to avoid damage to cables, pipes and other underground “facilities”. The legislation would also amend the statute that provides “sovereign immunity” to governments from legal liability and lawsuits, so that it also applies to damage done by the state or a local government to cables, pipes and other underground “facilities”. As introduced, the bills would include normal farming practices that “disturb” the soil to contact Miss Dig 72 hours prior to any work being done. The bills contain penalties for non-compliance of $5,000.

Both bills passed the Senate Energy and Technology Committee and await consideration on the Senate floor.

Farm Bureau is working with the bill sponsors and Sen. Howard Walker to address the concerns about including farming practices. Farm Bureau is opposed to the bills as introduced.

MFB Contact: Matt Smego

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