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479B.20 Land restoration standards.

1. The board, pursuant to chapter 17A, shall adopt rules establishing standards for the protection of underground improvements during the construction of pipelines or underground storage facilities, to protect soil conservation and drainage structures from being permanently damaged by construction of the pipeline or underground storage facility, and for the restoration of agricultural lands after pipeline or underground storage facility construction. To ensure that all interested persons are informed of this rulemaking procedure and are afforded a right to participate, the board shall schedule an opportunity for oral presentations on the proposed rulemaking, and, in addition to the requirements of section 17A.4, shall distribute copies of the notice of intended action and opportunity for oral presentations to each county board of supervisors. Any county board of supervisors may, under the provisions of chapter 17A, and subsequent to the rulemaking proceedings, petition under those provisions for additional rulemaking to establish standards to protect soil conservation practices, structures, and drainage structures within that county. Upon the request of the petitioning county, the board shall schedule a hearing to consider the merits of the petition. Rules adopted under this section shall not apply within the boundaries of a city unless the land is used for agricultural purposes.

2. The county board of supervisors shall cause an on-site inspection for compliance with the standards adopted under this section to be performed at any pipeline construction project in the county. A professional engineer familiar with the standards adopted under this section and registered under chapter 542B shall be responsible for the inspection. A county board of supervisors may contract for the services of a professional engineer for the purposes of the inspection. The reasonable costs of the inspection shall be paid by the pipeline company.

3. If the inspector determines that there has been a violation of the standards adopted under this section, the inspector shall give oral notice, followed by written notice, to the pipeline company and the contractor operating for the pipeline company and order corrective action to be taken in compliance with the standards. The costs of the corrective action shall be borne by the contractor operating for the pipeline company.

4. As a part of the inspection process, the inspector shall ascertain that the trench excavation has been filled in a manner to provide that the topsoil has been replaced on top and rocks and debris have been removed from the topsoil of the easement area. An existing topsoil layer extending at least one foot in width on either side of the pipeline excavation at a maximum depth of twelve inches shall be removed separately and shall be stockpiled and preserved separately during subsequent construction operations, unless other means for separating the topsoil are provided in the easement. The topsoil shall be replaced so the upper portion of the pipeline excavation and the crowned surface shall contain only the topsoil originally removed.

5. Adequate inspection of underground improvements altered during construction of the pipeline shall be conducted at the time of the replacement or repair of the underground improvements. An inspector shall be present on the site at all times at each phase and separate activity of the opening of the trench, the restoration of underground improvements, and backfilling. The pipeline company and its contractor shall keep all county inspectors continually informed of the work schedule and any schedule changes.

6. If the pipeline company or its contractor does not comply with the orders of the inspector for compliance with the standards, the county board of supervisors may direct the county attorney to petition the district court for an order requiring corrective action to be taken in compliance with the standards adopted under this section.

7. The pipeline company shall allow landowners and inspectors to view the proposed center line of the pipeline prior to commencing trenching operations to ensure that construction takes place in its proper location.

8. An inspector may temporarily halt the construction if the construction is not in compliance with the law or the terms of the agreement with the pipeline company regarding topsoil removal and replacement, drainage structures, soil moisture conditions, or the location of construction until the inspector consults with the supervisory personnel of the pipeline company. If the construction is then continued over the inspector's objection and is found not to be in compliance with the law or agreement and is found to cause damage, any civil penalty recovered under section 479B.21 as a result of that violation shall be paid to the landowner.

9. The board shall instruct inspectors appointed by the board of supervisors regarding the content of the statutes and rules and the inspector's responsibility to require construction conforming with the standards provided by this chapter.

10. Any underground drain tile damaged, cut, or removed shall be temporarily repaired and maintained as necessary to allow for its proper function during construction of the pipeline or underground storage facility. If temporary repair is not determined to be necessary, the exposed tile shall nonetheless be screened or otherwise protected to prevent the entry of any foreign material or small animals into the tile line system.

11. This section does not preclude the application of provisions for protecting or restoring property contained in agreements independently executed by the pipeline company and the landowner if the provisions are not inconsistent with state law or with rules adopted by the board.

Section History: Recent form

95 Acts, ch 192, §47

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