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[Introduced][Amended][Status][Bill Documents][Fiscal Note][Bills Directory]

H.B. 341 Enrolled






Chief Sponsor: David Clark

Senate Sponsor: Sheldon L. Killpack

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill addresses liability provisions and other provisions concerning the location of an
             11      underground utility facility.
             12      Highlighted Provisions:
             13          This bill:
             14          .    defines terms;
             15          .    requires certain information be provided concerning an operators' association;
             16          .    provides warning language that may be included with a building permit;
             17          .    addresses requirements for and effects of a notice of excavation;
             18          .    describes an underground facility that need not be marked;
             19          .    outlines a method for determining the precise location of a marked underground
             20      utility facility;
             21          .    requires an excavator to call 911 if certain damage occurs;
             22          .    provides a civil penalty for a violation of the chapter;
             23          .    provides for enforcement by the attorney general;
             24          .    limits the period for which an operators' association must maintain a record of
             25      notices of excavation;
             26          .    addresses the installation of a nonmetallic underground facility;
             27          .    creates the Underground Facilities Damage Dispute Board to arbitrate disputes
             28      arising under the chapter; and
             29          .    makes technical changes.

             30      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             31          None
             32      Other Special Clauses:
             33          None
             34      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             35      AMENDS:
             36          54-8a-2, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1998, Chapter 198
             37          54-8a-3, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1993, Chapter 87
             38          54-8a-4, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2001, Chapter 189
             39          54-8a-5, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1998, Chapter 198
             40          54-8a-5.5, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1996, Chapter 203
             41          54-8a-6, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1998, Chapter 198
             42          54-8a-7, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2001, Chapter 189
             43          54-8a-9, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1993, Chapter 87
             44          54-8a-10, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1993, Chapter 87
             45      ENACTS:
             46          54-8a-3.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             47          54-8a-12, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             48          54-8a-13, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             49      REPEALS AND REENACTS:
             50          54-8a-8, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2001, Chapter 189
             51      REPEALS:
             52          54-8a-8.5, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2004, Chapter 90
             53          54-13-6, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1989, Chapter 131
             55      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             56          Section 1. Section 54-8a-2 is amended to read:
             57           54-8a-2. Definitions.

             58          As used in this chapter:
             59          (1) "Association" means two or more operators organized to receive notification of
             60      excavation activities in a specified area, as provided by Section 54-8a-9 .
             61          (2) "Board" means the Underground Facilities Damage Dispute Board created in
             62      Section 54-8a-13 .
             63          [(2)] (3) "Emergency" means an occurrence or suspected natural gas leak necessitating
             64      immediate action to prevent or mitigate loss of, or damage to, life, health, property, or essential
             65      public services.
             66          [(3)] (4) "Excavate" or "excavation" means an operation in which earth, rock, or other
             67      material on or below the ground is moved or displaced by tools, equipment, or explosives.
             68          [(4)] (5) "Excavator" means any person or entity that excavates or conducts excavation
             69      activities.
             70          [(5)] (6) "48 hours" means a 48-hour period occurring during business days which
             71      includes any day except Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday.
             72          (7) "Hand tool" means an implement:
             73          (a) powered by hand; or
             74          (b) designed to avoid damaging an underground facility, including a vacuum excavation
             75      tool and air knife.
             76          (8) "Location" means the site of a proposed area of excavation described by:
             77          (a) (i) street address, if available; and
             78          (ii) the area at that street address to be excavated; or
             79          (b) if there is no street address available, the area of excavation using any available
             80      designations, including a nearby street or road, an intersection, GPS coordinates, or other
             81      generally accepted methods.
             82          [(6)] (9) "Location request assignment" means a number assigned to a proposed
             83      excavation by an association or operator upon receiving notice of the proposed excavation from
             84      the excavator.
             85          [(7)] (10) (a) "Operator" means a person [or entity which] who owns, operates, or

             86      maintains an underground [facilities] facility.
             87          (b) "Operator" does not include an owner of real property where underground facilities
             88      are:
             89          (i) located solely within the property;
             90          (ii) used exclusively to furnish services on the property; and
             91          (iii) maintained under the operation and control of that owner.
             92          [(8)] (11) "Person" includes [individuals, government entities, corporations,
             93      partnerships, associations, and companies and their trustees, receivers, assignees, and personal
             94      representatives.]:
             95          (a) an individual, government entity, corporation, partnership, association, or company;
             96      and
             97          (b) the trustee, receiver, assignee, and personal representative of a person listed in
             98      Subsection (11)(a).
             99          (12) "24 hours" means a 24-hour period, excluding hours occurring during a Saturday,
             100      Sunday, or a legal holiday.
             101          [(9)] (13) "Underground facility" means personal property that is buried or placed
             102      below ground level for use in the storage or conveyance of any of the following:
             103          (a) water;
             104          (b) sewage;
             105          (c) communications, including electronic, photonic, telephonic, or telegraphic
             106      communications;
             107          (d) television, cable television, or other telecommunication signals, including
             108      transmission to subscribers of video or other programming;
             109          (e) electric power;
             110          (f) oil, gas, or other fluid and gaseous substances;
             111          (g) steam;
             112          (h) slurry; or
             113          (i) dangerous materials or products.

             114          Section 2. Section 54-8a-3 is amended to read:
             115           54-8a-3. Information filed with county clerk.
             116          (1) An operator shall file with the county clerk of a county in which the operator has an
             117      underground [facilities] facility the following:
             118          (a) the name of each municipality, city, or town in which the operator has an
             119      underground [facilities] facility within that county;
             120          (b) the operator's name; [and]
             121          (c) the title, telephone number, and address of the operator's representative designated
             122      to receive calls regarding excavation[.]; and
             123          (d) a statement concerning whether the operator is a member of an association and, if
             124      the operator is a member of an association, the name of and contact information for the
             125      association.
             126          (2) In [counties] a county where an association is established, the association shall file
             127      its telephone number and a list of its members who are operators with the county clerk on behalf
             128      of [all] any participating [operators] operator.
             129          Section 3. Section 54-8a-3.5 is enacted to read:
             130          54-8a-3.5. Excavation-related information included with construction and
             131      building permit.
             132          An entity issuing a permit for building or construction that may require excavation may,
             133      and is encouraged to, include a notice on or with a permit stating, "Attention, Utah law requires
             134      any excavator to notify the owner of underground facilities 48 hours before excavating and
             135      comply with Utah Code Title 54, Chapter 8a, Damage to Underground Utility Facilities."
             136          Section 4. Section 54-8a-4 is amended to read:
             137           54-8a-4. Notice of excavation.
             138          (1) (a) Before excavating, an excavator shall notify each operator with an underground
             139      [facilities] facility in the area of the proposed excavation.
             140          (b) The requirements of Subsection (1)(a) do not apply:
             141          (i) if there is an emergency;

             142          (ii) while gardening; or
             143          (iii) while tilling private ground.
             144          (2) The notice required by Subsection (1) shall:
             145          (a) be given:
             146          (i) by telephone;
             147          (ii) in person; or
             148          (iii) by other means acceptable to each operator;
             149          (b) be given not:
             150          (i) less than 48 hours before excavation begins; or
             151          (ii) more than [seven] 14 days before excavation begins; and
             152          (c) include the proposed excavation's anticipated:
             153          (i) location, with reasonable specificity;
             154          (ii) dimensions;
             155          (iii) type; and
             156          (iv) duration.
             157          (3) If the proposed excavation's anticipated location and dimensions cannot be
             158      described as required under Subsection (2)(c), an excavator shall [mark] outline the proposed
             159      excavation site in white paint, stakes, flags, or other industry-accepted manner.
             160          (4) If more than one excavator will operate at the same excavation site, each excavator
             161      shall provide the notice required by this section.
             162          [(4)] (5) If there is an association in the county, notice to that association constitutes
             163      notice to each operator [in the county] that has facilities within the proposed excavation site.
             164          [(5) If an excavation on a single project lasts more than 14 days, the excavator shall
             165      give notice at least once each additional 14-day period.]
             166          (6) (a) Notice given under this section is valid for 14 days from the day on which the
             167      notice is given.
             168          (b) If an excavation will continue beyond the 14-day period under Subsection (6)(a), the
             169      excavator shall provide notice of that fact at least 48 hours before expiration of the 14-day

             170      period.
             171          (c) A notice under Subsection (6)(b) is valid for 14 days from the day on which the
             172      previous notice expires.
             173          (d) An excavator shall give notice as provided in this Subsection (6) for the duration of
             174      the excavation.
             175          [(6)] (7) If markings made by the operator have been disturbed so that the markings no
             176      longer identify the underground [facilities] facility:
             177          (a) before excavating the site an excavator shall notify:
             178          (i) the association; or
             179          (ii) each operator; and
             180          (b) the operator shall mark the area again within 48 hours of the renotification.
             181          [(7)] (8) An excavator may begin excavation if:
             182          (a) (i) all underground facilities have been:
             183          (A) located; and
             184          (B) marked; or
             185          (ii) the operators have indicated that there are no underground facilities within the
             186      proposed excavation site;
             187          (b) (i) 48 hours have elapsed from the time of initial notice; and
             188          (ii) the excavator has not:
             189          (A) been notified by the operator; or
             190          (B) received a request for a meeting under Subsection 54-8a-5 (2); or
             191          (c) 48 hours have elapsed from the time of renotification under Subsection (6).
             192          [(8)] (9) Unless an operator remarks an area pursuant to Subsection [(6)] (7), the
             193      excavator shall be responsible for the costs incurred by an operator to remark its underground
             194      facilities following the second or subsequent notice given by an excavator for a proposed
             195      excavation [designated by the same location request assignment].
             196          Section 5. Section 54-8a-5 is amended to read:
             197           54-8a-5. Marking of underground facilities.

             198          (1) (a) Within 48 hours of the receipt of the notice required by Section 54-8a-4 , the
             199      operator shall:
             200          (i) mark the location of its underground facilities in the area of the proposed excavation;
             201      or
             202          (ii) notify the excavator, by telephonic or electronic message or indication at the
             203      excavation site, that the operator does not have any underground [facilities] facility in the area
             204      of the proposed excavation.
             205          (b) The underground [facilities] facility shall be marked with stakes, paint, or in some
             206      other customary way, indicating, at the option of the operator, either:
             207          (i) the approximate centerline of the underground facility; or
             208          (ii) the approximate outside dimensions of both sides of the underground facility.
             209          (2) (a) The operator is not required to mark the underground facilities within 48 hours
             210      if:
             211          (i) the proposed excavation:
             212          (A) is not [clearly described by a street address or description and] identified in
             213      accordance with Subsection 54-8a-4 (2) or is not marked as provided in Subsection 54-8a-4 (3);
             214          (B) is located in a remote area;
             215          (C) is an extensive excavation; or
             216          (D) presents other constraints that make it unreasonably difficult for the operator to
             217      comply with the marking requirements of this section; or
             218          (ii) the operator is not able to readily locate the underground facilities from the surface
             219      with standard underground detection devices.
             220          (b) If the operator cannot proceed with the marking because of a situation described in
             221      Subsection (2)(a), the operator shall contact the excavator within 48 hours after the excavator's
             222      notice of excavation or request for a location request assignment made in accordance with
             223      Section 54-8a-4 and request a meeting at the proposed excavation site or some other mutually
             224      agreed upon location.
             225          (c) For [the situations] a situation described under [Subsections] Subsection

             226      (2)(a)(i)[(A) and (2)(a)(i)(B), the meeting will constitute the beginning of a new 48-hour period
             227      within which the operator must mark the underground facilities. (d) For the situations described
             228      under Subsections (2)(a)(i)(C) and (2)(a)(i)(D)], the meeting [will constitute] constitutes the
             229      beginning of a new 48-hour period within which the operator must begin marking the
             230      underground facilities.
             231          [(e)] (d) (i) For the situation described under Subsection (2)(a)(ii), the excavator and
             232      operator shall agree on a plan of excavation designed to prevent damage to the operator's
             233      underground [facilities] facility.
             234          (ii) Notwithstanding the agreement, the excavator shall proceed in a manner that is
             235      reasonably calculated to avoid damage to the underground [facilities] facility.
             236          (e) (i) An operator need not mark or locate an underground facility the operator does
             237      not own.
             238          (ii) An underground facility under Subsection (2)(e)(i) includes a water or sewer lateral
             239      or a facility running from a house to a garage or outbuilding.
             240          (f) (i) An operator may mark the location of a known facility connected to the
             241      operator's facilities that is not owned or operated by the operator.
             242          (ii) Marking a known facility under Subsection (2)(f)(i) imposes no liability on the
             243      operator for the accuracy of the marking.
             244          (3) The markings required by this section shall conform [to the following color code for
             245      each type of installation:] with marking standards established by the American Public Works
             246      Association for temporary markings.
             247          [(a) safety red - electric power;]
             248          [(b) safety yellow - gas, oil, a dangerous material or product, or steam;]
             249          [(c) safety orange - communications or cable television;]
             250          [(d) safety blue - water or slurry; and]
             251          [(e) safety green - sewer.]
             252          (4) Each marking is valid for not more than 14 calendar days from the date notice is
             253      given.

             254          (5) If multiple lines exist:
             255          (a) the markings must indicate the number of lines; or
             256          (b) all lines must be marked.
             257          Section 6. Section 54-8a-5.5 is amended to read:
             258           54-8a-5.5. Determining the precise location of marked underground facilities.
             259          (1) (a) An excavator may not use any power-operated or power-driven excavating or
             260      boring equipment within 24 inches of the markings made in accordance with Section 54-8a-5
             261      [before] unless the excavator [has determined] determines the exact location of the underground
             262      [facilities] facility by excavating with hand tools to confirm that the excavation will not damage
             263      the underground facilities.
             264          (b) An operator may waive, in writing or electronically, the requirement that the
             265      excavator determine the exact location of the underground facilities by excavating with hand
             266      tools.
             267          (2) Power-operated or power-driven excavating or boring equipment may be used for
             268      the removal of any existing pavement if there [are] is no underground [facilities] facility
             269      contained in the pavement, as marked by the operator.
             270          (3) The excavator may use power-operated or power-driven excavating or boring
             271      equipment within 24 inches of the markings only:
             272          (a) to a depth agreed upon by the operator; and
             273          (b) if allowed by the operator.
             274          Section 7. Section 54-8a-6 is amended to read:
             275           54-8a-6. Duties and liabilities of an excavator.
             276          (1) Damage to an underground facility by an excavator who excavates but fails to
             277      comply with Section 54-8a-4 , is prima facie evidence that the excavator is liable for any damage
             278      caused by the negligence of that excavator.
             279          (2) (a) An excavator is not liable for [damage to an underground facility] a civil penalty
             280      under this chapter if [he or she] the excavator has:
             281          (i) given proper notice of the proposed excavation as required in this chapter;

             282          (ii) marked the area of the proposed excavation as required in Section 54-8a-4 ;
             283          (iii) complied with Section 54-8a-5.5 ; and
             284          (iv) complied with Section 54-8a-7 .
             285          (b) An excavator is [not] liable for damage [to an underground facility if an operator
             286      has failed to comply with Section 54-8a-5 or 54-8a-9 .] incurred by an operator if:
             287          (i) the operator complies with Section 54-8a-5 ; and
             288          (ii) the damage occurs within 24 inches of the operator's markings.
             289          Section 8. Section 54-8a-7 is amended to read:
             290           54-8a-7. Notice of damage -- Repairs.
             291          (1) If an excavator contacts or damages an underground facility, the excavator shall:
             292          (a) immediately notify the appropriate operator and then proceed in a manner that is
             293      reasonably calculated to avoid further damage to the underground facility[.]; and
             294          (b) immediately call 911 if the excavation may result in an immediate risk to human life.
             295          (2) Upon receipt of notice, the operator shall immediately examine the underground
             296      facility, and, if necessary, make repairs.
             297          Section 9. Section 54-8a-8 is repealed and reenacted to read:
             298          54-8a-8. Civil penalty for damage -- Exceptions -- Other remedies.
             299          (1) A civil penalty may be imposed for a violation of this chapter as provided in this
             300      section.
             301          (2) A civil penalty under this section may be imposed on:
             302          (a) any person who violates this chapter in an amount no greater than $2,500 for each
             303      violation with a maximum civil penalty of $100,000 per excavation; or
             304          (b) an excavator who fails to provide notice of an excavation in accordance with
             305      Section 54-8a-4 in an amount no greater than $500 in addition to the amount under Subsection
             306      (2)(a).
             307          (3) Notwithstanding Subsection (2)(a), a penalty under this chapter may not be imposed
             308      on an excavator or operator unless the excavator or operator fails to comply with this chapter
             309      and damages an underground facility.

             310          (4) The amount of a civil penalty under this section shall be made taking into
             311      consideration the following:
             312          (a) the excavator's or operator's history of any prior violation or penalty;
             313          (b) the seriousness of the violation;
             314          (c) any discharge or pollution resulting from the damage;
             315          (d) the hazard to the health or safety of the public;
             316          (e) the degree of culpability and willfulness of the violation;
             317          (f) any good faith of the excavator or operator; and
             318          (g) any other factor considered relevant, including the number of past excavations
             319      conducted by the excavator, the number of location requests made by the excavator and the
             320      number of location markings made for the excavator or by the operator.
             321          (5) "Good faith," as used in Subsection (4)(f) includes actions taken before the filing of
             322      an action for civil penalty under this section to:
             323          (a) remedy, in whole or in part, a violation of this chapter; or
             324          (b) mitigate the consequences and damages resulting from a violation of this chapter.
             325          (6) (a) A civil penalty may not be imposed on an excavator if the damage to an
             326      underground facility results from an operator's:
             327          (i) failure to mark; or
             328          (ii) inaccurate marking or locating of the operator's underground facilities.
             329          (b) In addition to or in lieu of part of or all of a civil penalty, the excavator or operator
             330      may be required to undertake actions that are designed to prevent future violations of this
             331      chapter, including attending safety and compliance training, improving internal monitoring and
             332      compliance processes and procedures, or any other action that may result in compliance with
             333      this chapter.
             334          (7) Subsection (1) does not apply to an excavation made:
             335          (a) during an emergency, if reasonable precautions are taken to protect any
             336      underground facility;
             337          (b) in agricultural operations;

             338          (c) for the purpose of finding or extracting natural resources; or
             339          (d) with hand tools on property owned or occupied by the excavator.
             340          (8) (a) A civil penalty under this section is in addition to any damages that an operator
             341      or an excavator may seek to recover.
             342          (b) In an action brought under this section, the prevailing party shall be awarded its
             343      costs and attorney fees as determined by the court.
             344          Section 10. Section 54-8a-9 is amended to read:
             345           54-8a-9. Association for mutual receipt of notice of excavation activities.
             346          (1) (a) (i) Two or more operators may form and operate a statewide association
             347      providing for mutual receipt of notice of excavation activities.
             348          (ii) If an association is operational, notice to the association shall be given pursuant to
             349      Section 54-8a-4 .
             350          (b) (i) If an association is formed, each operator with an underground [facilities] facility
             351      in the area shall become a member of the association [or] and participate in it to:
             352          (A) receive a notice of a proposed excavation submitted to the association;
             353          (B) receive the services furnished by it; and
             354          (C) pay its share of the cost for the service furnished.
             355          (ii) If an operator does not comply with Subsection (1)(b)(i) and Section 54-8a-5 , [he]
             356      the operator is liable for damages incurred by an excavator who [has complied] complies with
             357      [the] this chapter's requirements [under this chapter].
             358          (c) An association whose members or participants have underground facilities within a
             359      county shall:
             360          (i) file a description of the geographical area served by the association; and
             361          (ii) file the name and address of every member and participating operator with the
             362      county clerk.
             363          (2) An association receiving notice as provided in Subsection 54-8a-4 (1) shall:
             364          (a) notify members and participants in the relevant geographic area within 24 hours
             365      after receiving notice from the person who proposes to excavate; and

             366          (b) maintain a record of [notices] any notice received for a period of five years to
             367      document compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
             368          Section 11. Section 54-8a-10 is amended to read:
             369           54-8a-10. Installation of nonmetallic facilities.
             370          Any operator [utilizing a fiberoptic or other] installing a nonmetallic facility, such as a
             371      sewer, water, or fiber optic line, shall install the [fiberoptic or other] nonmetallic facility so that
             372      it can be located with standard underground facility detection devices or in a concrete conduit
             373      system.
             374          Section 12. Section 54-8a-12 is enacted to read:
             375          54-8a-12. Enforcement -- Attorney general.
             376          (1) (a) The attorney general may bring an action in the district court located in the
             377      county in which the excavation is located to enforce this chapter.
             378          (b) The right of any person to bring a civil action for damage arising from an
             379      excavator's or operator's actions or conduct relating to underground facilities is not affected by:
             380          (i) a proceeding commenced by the attorney general under this chapter; or
             381          (ii) the imposition of a civil penalty under this chapter.
             382          (c) If the attorney general does not bring an action under Subsection (1)(a), the
             383      operator or excavator may pursue any remedy, including a civil penalty.
             384          (2) Any civil penalty imposed and collected under this chapter shall be deposited into
             385      the General Fund.
             386          Section 13. Section 54-8a-13 is enacted to read:
             387          54-8a-13. Underground Facilities Damage Dispute Board -- Arbitration --
             388      Relationship with Public Service Commission.
             389          (1) There is created within the commission the Underground Facilities Damage Dispute
             390      Board to arbitrate a dispute arising from:
             391          (a) an operator's or excavator's violation of this chapter; and
             392          (b) damage caused by excavation during an emergency.
             393          (2) The board consists of five members appointed by the governor as follows:

             394          (a) one member from a list of names provided to the governor by a group representing
             395      operators;
             396          (b) one member from a list of names provided to the governor by the Associated
             397      General Contractors;
             398          (c) one member from a list of names provided to the governor by Blue Stakes of Utah;
             399          (d) one member from a list of names provided to the governor by the Utah Home
             400      Builders Association; and
             401          (e) one member from the Division of Public Utilities.
             402          (3) (a) A member of the board:
             403          (i) shall be appointed for a three-year term; and
             404          (ii) may continue to serve until the member's successor takes office.
             405          (b) At the time of appointment, the governor shall stagger the terms of the members to
             406      ensure that approximately 1/3 of the members of the board are reappointed each year.
             407          (c) A vacancy in the board shall be filled:
             408          (i) for the unexpired term; and
             409          (ii) in the same manner as the board member is initially appointed.
             410          (d) The board shall select an alternate for a specific board member to serve on a specific
             411      case if it becomes necessary to replace a member who has a conflict of interest because a
             412      dispute involves that member or that member's employer.
             413          (4) Three members of the board constitute a quorum.
             414          (5) The board may, upon agreement of the disputing parties, arbitrate a dispute
             415      regarding damages, not including personal injury damages, arising between:
             416          (a) an operator;
             417          (b) an excavator;
             418          (c) a property owner; or
             419          (d) any other interested party.
             420          (6) At least four members of the board shall be present and vote on an arbitration
             421      decision.

             422          (7) An arbitration before the board shall be consistent with Title 78, Chapter 31a, Utah
             423      Uniform Arbitration Act.
             424          (8) The prevailing party in an arbitration conducted under this section shall be awarded
             425      its costs and attorney fees in an amount determined by the board.
             426          (9) (a) A member of the board who is not a state officer or employee or local
             427      government officer or employee shall receive no compensation or benefits for the member's
             428      service, but may receive per diem and expenses incurred in the performance of the member's
             429      duties at the rates established by the Division of Finance under Sections 63A-3-106 and
             430      63A-3-107 . Members may decline to receive per diem and expenses for their services.
             431          (b) A state officer or employee or local government officer or employee member of the
             432      board who does not receive salary, per diem, or expenses from their agency or employer for
             433      their service on the board may receive per diem and expenses incurred in the performance of the
             434      member's duties at the rates established by the Division of Finance under Sections 63A-3-106
             435      and 63A-3-107 . State and local government officer or employee members may decline to
             436      receive per diem and expenses for their services.
             437          (10) The commission shall provide administrative support to the board.
             438          Section 14. Repealer.
             439          This bill repeals:
             440          Section 54-8a-8.5, Alternative dispute resolution.
             441          Section 54-13-6, Violation of chapter -- Penalty.

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