Call to Order and Roll Call
The4th meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection was held on Monday, November 22, 2010, at 3:00 PM, in Greenup County. Representative Tanya Pullin, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members: Representative Tanya Pullin, Co-Chair; Senators Perry B. Clark, Denise Harper Angel, Dan "Malano" Seum, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Dwight D. Butler, Mike Cherry, Larry Clark, Leslie Combs, Tim Couch, Ron Crimm, Robert R. Damron, Myron Dossett, Bill Farmer, David Floyd, Terry Mills, Fred Nesler, Tom Riner, Charles Siler, John Tilley, and Alecia Webb-Edgington.
Guests: Colonel Robert D. Peterson, District Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Colonel Steve Bullard, Kentucky Department of Military Affairs; Tim Vaughn, Director of External and Regulatory Affairs, Patrick Jennings, KY 811 Call Center; Stephanie Bell, Legislative Liaison, Jeff Derouen, Public Service Commission; Annette DuPont-Ewing, Executive Director, Kentucky Municipal Utilities Association; Gary Larimore, Executive Director, Kentucky Rural Water Association; Bill May, Patricia Hieneman, Chris Jobe, Kentucky County Clerks Association; and Forest Skaggs, III, Executive Director, Kentucky Telephone Association.
Co-Chair Pullin asked members to review the October 14th meeting minutes for approval. Representative Floyd moved to adopt the minutes. Representative Couch seconded the motion. The minutes were adopted by a voice vote.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District
Colonel Robert D. Peterson, District Commander, gave a power point presentation on the Huntington District Kentucky Projects. Col. Peterson briefed the committee on the Greenup County Locks and Dam to include the miter gate anchor arm failure and the economic impacts of the lock outage during January and February of 2010, the 2009-10 Kentucky flood events, the Kentucky Section 202 Program, the Huntington District Kentucky levees, the Ohio River Basin Comprehensive Recon, and the Drought Contingency Plan gage updates.
In response to Chair Pullin’s question, Col. Peterson stated that the current status of enlarging the dam is that it is a slow process due to funding and no funding in FY11 and that there are at least six projects that would receive funding before the Greenup Dam.
Military Family Assistance Trust Fund Administrative Regulation: 106 KAR 2:020
Colonel Steve Bullard, Kentucky Department of Military Affairs was on hand to answer questions pertaining to the Administrative Regulation. The committee reviewed the regulation but took no action.
811 Call Before you Dig
Tim Vaughn, Director of Regulatory and External Affairs, gave a power point presentation on the Kentucky 811 Call Center. Patrick Jennings was present to answer questions. Mr. Vaughn described the Kentucky “Call Before You Dig Law,” the responsibilities of operators, the duties of the protection notification center, the responsibilities of excavators, and the Common Ground Alliance best practices. Mr. Vaughn concluded that there are exemptions from the Kentucky 811 Call Before You Dig for homeowners, agriculture, and coal.
Jeff Derouen, Executive Director, and Stephanie Bell, Legislative Liaison, Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC), gave a power point presentation on improving protection of underground utility lines in Kentucky. Mr. Derouen stated that the PSC, with the exception of underground lines, has no regulatory role in protecting buried utility facilities in Kentucky. Kentucky does not require utilities to become members of a statewide 811 system, and PSC believes the current system is not the most efficient or effective way to locate, identify, and protect underground utilities. He stated that the PSC cooperated extensively with Kentucky 811 on education and outreach. He stated that federal regulations require all natural gas utilities to join 811 and PSC checks for membership during regular inspection. Mr. Derouen stated that the PSC believes 811 membership should be mandatory for all utility providers, not just natural gas systems, and that if more utility facilities are placed underground, it will become increasingly important that the location of those facilities be available to the Kentucky 811 Call Center. In conclusion, Mr. Derouen discussed how the consequences of hitting a buried utility line go beyond the damage to the lines and cost of repairs.
Annette DuPont-Ewing, Executive Director, Kentucky Municipal Utilities Association, spoke on the association’s stance on the 811 Call Before You Dig. Ms. DuPont-Ewing stated that their members are appointed by elected officials and while they fully support 811 Call Before You Dig, their members do not want membership to be mandatory.
Gary Larimore, Executive Director, Kentucky Rural Water Association, discussed their opposition of mandatory membership to the Kentucky 811 Call Before You Dig Program. Mr. Larimore stated that the Kentucky Rural Water Association members prefer continuing education for the public.
Bill May, Patricia Hieneman, and Chris Jobe, Kentucky County Clerks Association, came before the committee to answer questions about how the 811 Call Before You Dig law affected the county clerks. In response to Chair Pullin’s question, Mr. May stated that the county clerks have not received any calls to date, despite the fact that the law is designed to require a call to a county clerk to get a list of non-811 members utilities for purposes of notification.
Forest Skaggs, III, Executive Director, Kentucky Telephone Association (KTA), told the committee that Kentucky 811 is an associate member of the Kentucky Telephone Association and that his association has worked with Kentucky 811 but that the KTA members do not like the idea of mandatory membership.
Chair Pullin announced that the committee’s December meeting would be on the 7th at 1:00, in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.