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Suffolk County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Utility easements — See Ch. 245.
Wireless communications — See Ch. 1184.
[Adopted 8-3-2010 by L.L. No. 46-2010 (Ch. 465A of the 1985 Code)]
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that public utility companies place poles in County road rights-of-way to facilitate the delivery of electric, telephone and cable television services to the residents of Suffolk County. This Legislature also finds that utility poles are frequently damaged by traffic accidents and adverse weather conditions. This Legislature determines that public safety can be compromised when utility lines and equipment remain affixed to damaged poles for unreasonably long periods of time. This Legislature further determines that a utility's delay in removing lines and equipment also delays the removal of the pole itself, which causes a proliferation of aesthetically unpleasant "double woods" along roadways. This Legislature also finds and determines that local governments have the authority to regulate their roads and rights-of-way to protect the public. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to require utilities that utilize County road rights-of-way to remove their lines and equipment from damaged poles in a timely manner in order to enhance public safety and the aesthetic appearance of roadways in Suffolk County.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMMISSIONER
The Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Public Works.
[Added 9-13-2012 by L.L. No. 56-2012]
DEPARTMENT
The Suffolk County Department of Public Works.
DOUBLE POLE
Any damaged utility pole or old utility pole from which the plant has been removed, in whole or in part, which is attached or in close proximity to a new utility pole.
[Added 9-13-2012 by L.L. No. 56-2012]
PLANT
The cables, terminals, conductors and other fixtures necessary for transmitting electric, telephone, cable television or other telecommunications service.
PUBLIC UTILITY
Any corporation, authority or other entity that provides electric, telephone, cable television or other telecommunications service to the residents of the County of Suffolk.
WRITTEN NOTIFICATION
A writing directed to a representative of a public utility, who may be designated by the utility, by regular mail, fax transmission or electronic mail.
[Added 9-13-2012 by L.L. No. 56-2012]
[Amended 9-13-2012 by L.L. No. 56-2012]
A. 
When the Department, or its duly authorized agent, determines that a utility pole in a County road right-of-way is damaged and poses a potential threat to public safety, the Department, or its duly authorized agent, shall notify any public utility with a plant on the damaged pole that it must remove its plant from the pole or be subject to a penalty. A public utility must remove its plant from the damaged pole within 15 days of receiving such notification from the Department or its duly authorized agent.
B. 
When the Department, or its duly authorized agent, determines that a double pole is in a County road right-of-way, the Department or its duly authorized agent will notify the public utility which has the top plant on the double pole that the plant must be removed within 60 days or be subject to penalty. Upon removal of the top plant, each subsequent public utility with plant on a double pole will have 60 days to remove such plant from the date it receives notification from the Department or its duly authorized agent.
C. 
After all plants have been removed from the double pole, the public utility which owns the double pole shall remove said pole within 30 days after receiving notification from the Department or its duly authorized agent. This provision shall not nullify or limit any private agreement between and among public utilities that assign responsibility for pole removal.
[Added 9-13-2012 by L.L. No. 56-2012]
The Suffolk County Department of Public Works shall include in all permits for the installation of utility poles on County roadways the following provision: "The permittee shall have 30 days to remove a double pole following removal of all plants from the pole. Failure to do so may result in penalties as provided by law."
[Amended 9-13-2012 by L.L. No. 56-2012]
A. 
Any public utility that fails to remove its plant from a damaged pole within 15 days of receiving notification from the Department pursuant to § 808-3A shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $250 for each such violation. Each day that the violation continues shall be deemed a separate violation.
B. 
Any public utility that fails to remove its plant from a double pole within 60 days of receiving notification from the Department or its duly authorized agent pursuant to § 808-3B shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 per full calendar month that the violation continues.
C. 
Any public utility that fails to remove a double pole pursuant to the requirements of § 808-3C shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 per month per full calendar month that the violation continues.
D. 
If a public utility violates the provisions of this article, the County Attorney, upon the request of the Department, may commence an action in the name of the County in a court of competent jurisdiction for necessary relief, which may include the imposition of civil penalties as authorized by this article, an order to remove the plant from a damaged utility pole and/or to remove damaged pole or double pole, the recovery of costs of the action and such other remedies as may be necessary to prevent or enjoin a dangerous condition from existing in a County road right-of-way.
E. 
The Commissioner may reduce or waive the penalties set forth in this section if a public utility demonstrates that its failure to comply with the provisions of this article is due to an Act of God or other circumstances beyond the control of the public utility.
[Added 9-13-2012 by L.L. No. 56-2012]
The Department of Public Works or its duly authorized agent shall, for informational purposes, provide notice to the owner of a damaged or double pole when notification is given to a public utility that its plant must be removed from the pole.
[Adopted 12-17-2019 by L.L. No. 10-2020]
A. 
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that County government strives to protect the health, safety, and welfare of individuals who live and work in Suffolk County. This Legislature also finds and determines that construction and public works projects frequently require that utility mains be located underground and marked for the safety of on-site workers and the public. This Legislature further finds and determines that many workers providing utility location services work long shifts, including overtime, to finish their projects. This Legislature finds that because many workers providing utility location services frequently work overtime, their subsequent shifts may sometimes be as little as two hours later, leaving little to no time for rest. This Legislature determines that sleep deprivation can cause workers to become disoriented and ill, which affects the safety and welfare of the workers and could contribute to dangerous errors in marking utilities which may affect other construction workers and the public. This Legislature further finds that workers performing utility location services are performing a necessary function that affects the health, safety, and welfare of County residents and should be provided with breaks long enough for food and rest. This Legislature also determines that a minimum rest period of eight hours prior to the start of a regular shift is adequate for workers performing utility location services. This Legislature further determines that to ensure that the County is protecting the safety of utility location workers and the public, businesses providing this service should ensure that workers receive eight hours of rest prior to the start of a regular shift.
B. 
Therefore, the purpose of this article is to require that all workers providing utility location services be provided with eight hours of rest prior to the start of a regular shift.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BREAK
A time period where an employee or contractor is not scheduled to take part in or complete any type of work.
REGULAR SHIFT
The period of consecutive hours starting when a utility safety employer requires a utility safety employee to report to a work location and ending when the utility safety employee is free to leave a work location. Breaks totaling two hours or less are not an interruption of consecutive hours, provided that such breaks do not include time when the utility safety employee's work location is closed. The term "regular shift" does not include the hours worked by a utility safety employee who is called into work after a regular shift.
UNDERGROUND UTILITY FACILITY
Pipelines, conduits, ducts, cables, wires, manholes, vaults, or other such facilities or their attachments, that have been installed underground to provide service on materials, including electricity, gas, water, stream liquid, petroleum products, telephone communications, cable television, sewage removal, or traffic control.
UTILITY LOCATION
The process of locating and marking public utility mains that are underground.
UTILITY SAFETY EMPLOYEE
Any person who is employed within the County and who performs work on a full-time or part-time basis, and whose job duties include locating and marking underground utility facilities. The term "utility safety employee" does not include any person who is employed by (i) the United States Government; (ii) the State of New York, including any office, department, independent agency, authority, institution, association, society, or other body of the state, including the Legislature and judiciary.
UTILITY SAFETY EMPLOYER
Any person or entity that employs a utility safety employee. The term, "utility safety employer" does not include (i) the United States Government; (ii) the State of New York, including any office, department, independent agency, authority, institution, association, society, or other body of the state, including the Legislature and judiciary.
A. 
Any utility safety employer shall provide utility safety employees who engage in utility location with at least eight hours of consecutive rest prior to a regular shift.
B. 
A utility safety employee required to work in excess of his or her regular shift shall not be penalized by a utility safety employer when the mandated eight-hour break interferes with attending his or her next regular shift.
This article shall not apply to any utility safety employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement if (i) such provisions are expressly waived in the collective bargaining agreement and (ii) the agreement addresses employee scheduling.
A. 
This article shall be enforced by the Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing, and Consumer Affairs ("the Department").
B. 
Any person, including any utility safety employer or employee, alleging a violation of this article may file a complaint with the Department within one year of the date of the alleged violation. Upon receiving a complaint, the Department shall investigate it. The Department may open an investigation on its own initiative.
The Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing, and Consumer Affairs is hereby authorized, empowered, and directed to promulgate such rules and regulations as he or she deems necessary to implement this article.
A. 
Any utility safety employer found in violation of any portion of this article shall be subject to a civil penalty. The penalty shall be $500 for an initial violation, $750 for a second violation within a two-year period, and $1,000 for each successive violation within a two-year period. Each instance involving an individual utility safety employee shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.
B. 
A civil penalty shall only be assessed by the Commissioner of the Department following a duly noticed hearing and opportunity to be heard.
This article shall apply to all actions occurring on or after the effective date of this article.