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§ 7-214. Duties of electric companies relating to contact voltage

West's Annotated Code of MarylandPublic UtilitiesEffective: May 25, 2012

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Public Utilities (Refs & Annos)
Division I. Public Services and Utilities [Titles 1-15] (Refs & Annos)
Title 7. Gas, Electric, and Water Companies (Refs & Annos)
Subtitle 2. Electric Generation Facility Planning (Refs & Annos)
Effective: May 25, 2012
MD Code, Public Utilities, § 7-214
§ 7-214. Duties of electric companies relating to contact voltage
Definitions
(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) “Contact voltage” means a voltage condition that may result in an object or surface being inadvertently energized.
(3) “Contact voltage risk zone” or “CVRZ” means the portions of each electric company's service territory that:
(i) are served by underground electric distribution plant; and
(ii) have substantial pedestrian traffic or population density, whether permanent, seasonal, or varying by time of day.
(4) “Contact voltage survey” means a survey performed by an electric company to detect contact voltage consistent with the electric company's voltage survey plan.
(5)(i) “Electric distribution plant” means all electric company plant used to distribute electricity to its customers.
(ii) “Electric distribution plant” includes covers and protective structures.
(iii) “Electric distribution plant” does not include customer meters and meter enclosures.
(6) “Voltage survey plan” means a plan, submitted by an electric company and approved by the Commission, that governs the electric company's contact voltage detection and testing equipment and voltage detection and testing procedures to be used when conducting contact voltage surveys.
Approval of list and location maps or voltage survey plans
(b)(1) On or before September 1, 2012, each electric company shall file with the Commission for approval:
(i) a list and location map for all CVRZs within its service territory, if applicable; or
(ii) if no CVRZs are designated in its service territory, a voltage survey plan.
(2) Within 30 days after the Commission approves a CVRZ within an electric company's service territory, the electric company shall file its voltage survey plan for Commission approval.
(3) On Commission approval of its voltage survey plan, each electric company shall conduct:
(i) an initial contact voltage survey of each CVRZ within 1 year after the Commission approves an electric company's voltage survey plan; and
(ii) subsequent surveys of each CVRZ as set forth in its voltage survey plan.
(4) Each electric company shall conduct an initial and each subsequent contact voltage survey within each CVRZ of all objects and surfaces that are:
(i) publicly accessible;
(ii) capable of conducting electricity; and
(iii) 1. electric distribution plant;
2. streetlights owned or maintained by the electric company;
3. streetlights and traffic signals owned by a municipal corporation or other unit of government, with the consent of the appropriate authority; and
4. public parks and playgrounds, with the consent of the appropriate authority.
(5)(i) For areas in each electric company's service territory not located in a CVRZ, except for wooden poles, the electric company shall conduct a contact voltage survey on all publicly accessible electric distribution plant and publicly accessible streetlights that the electric company owns or maintains that are capable of conducting electricity:
1. within 3 years after the initial approval of the voltage survey plan; and
2. subsequently as set forth in its voltage survey plan.
(ii) An electric company shall test each streetlight for contact voltage after dark or when the light is illuminated.
(6) At least 60 days before implementing a material change to a voltage survey plan, an electric company shall file an amended voltage survey plan for Commission approval.
(7) The Commission may modify the frequency or scope of any contact voltage survey requirement on a showing of good cause.
Voltage survey plan requirements
(c)(1) Each electric company shall include in its voltage survey plan all equipment used for detecting contact voltage.
(2)(i) The type of each equipment must be certified by an independent test laboratory as being able to reliably detect voltages of 6 to 600 volts.
(ii) Each electric company shall include the certification when filing the voltage survey plan.
Duties of electric companies relating to contact voltage
(d)(1) Each electric company shall confirm and document all contact voltage detected in its contact voltage survey using a voltmeter and a 500 ohm shunt resistor.
(2) Until a potential contact voltage condition can be confirmed under paragraph (1) of this subsection, each electric company shall make an area safe after detecting a potential contact voltage condition during its contact voltage survey.
(3) If an electric company detects a contact voltage measurement under paragraph (1) of this subsection that is at least 1 volt of alternating current, the electric company shall:
(i) perform a contact voltage survey on all objects and surfaces that are capable of conducting electricity and are publicly accessible within at least 30 feet of the location of the measured contact voltage;
(ii) when electric distribution plant or a street light that the electric company owns or maintains is indicating contact voltage:
1. immediately and continuously make the area safe; and
2. use best efforts to make a permanent repair to mitigate the contact voltage as soon as possible, but not later than 45 days, unless extraordinary circumstances exist and the area continues to be made safe through a temporary measure to mitigate the contact voltage;
(iii) when property that is not owned by the electric company is indicating contact voltage, immediately use best efforts to:
1. make the area safe; and
2. notify the customer or responsible person associated with the premises or customer-owned facility of the unsafe condition and the need for the customer to make a permanent repair to mitigate contact voltage; and
(iv) maintain written records of its actions to make the area safe and mitigate the contact voltage.
Compliance reports filed with Commission
(e)(1) On or before April 1 of each year, each electric company shall file a compliance report with the Commission:
(i) describing the results of its contact voltage surveys; and
(ii) summarizing each known contact voltage electric shock and each contact voltage electric shock complaint received from a member of the public, whether the shock affected an individual or an animal.
(2) The Commission shall approve the form of the report.
Civil penalties
(f) The Commission may impose a civil penalty under this division for a violation of this subsection.
Regulations
(g) The Commission may, in its discretion, through order or regulation:
(1) waive or modify any provision of this section; or
(2) impose additional requirements as circumstances require.

Credits

Added by Acts 2012, c. 624, § 1, eff. May 22, 2012; Acts 2012, c. 625, § 1, eff. May 22, 2012. Amended by Acts 2012, c. 66, § 6.
MD Code, Public Utilities, § 7-214, MD PUBLIC UTIL § 7-214
Current through all legislation from the 2022 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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