DE 98-021
                          C.R. THOMPSON TRUCKING
          Show Cause Hearing On Violation of Underground Utility
                         Damage Prevention Program
              Order Affirming Violation and Assessing Penalty
                         O R D E R   N O.  22,925
                               May 12, 1998
         APPEARANCES: Kathleen Dumaine on behalf of Bell
     Atlantic; Terry Sylvester on behalf of On Target; and
     Richard G. Marini, P.E., for the Staff of the New Hampshire
     Public Utilities Commission.
               On November 18, 1997, NYNEX (now Bell Atlantic),
     in accordance with New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission
     (NHPUC) Chapter Puc 800 Underground Utility Damage
     Prevention Program,  Puc 803.02(e), reported damage to
     underground facilities on Daniels St. in Portsmouth, N.H. 
     The report alleged that on July 9, 1997, C.R. Thompson
     Trucking (C.R. Thompson) bent and pierced a 600-pair
     pressurized lead cable that was clearly marked.
               On November 25, 1997, the NHPUC Safety Division
     (Division), pursuant to Puc 805.01, issued a Notice of
     Probable Violation (NOPV) No. 97042, which stated, in part,
     that there was reason to believe that C.R. Thompson caused
     damage within the boundaries of marked facilities which
     would constitute a violation of RSA 374:55,IV-a. The notice
     was sent certified mail, to C.R. Thompson Trucking, P.O. Box
     446, Greenland, N.H. 03804. The NOPV was received on
     December 8, 1997. Pursuant to NHPUC Part Puc 805.02, C.R.
     Thompson had 30 days to respond to the NOPV. C.R. Thompson
     failed to respond.
               On January 21, 1998, based on the lack of
     response, and in accordance with Puc 805.03(a), the Division
     issued Notice Of Violation (NOV) No. 97042V by certified
     mail. The NOV stated that C.R. Thompson was found in
     violation of RSA 374:55,IV-a, subject to a civil penalty of
     $100.00, and that payment must be made within 10 days of the
     receipt of notice. The NOV was received on January 23, 1998. 
     C.R. Thompson failed to respond.
               On March 9, 1998, the Commission issued Order No.
     22,862 ordering C.R. Thompson to appear at a hearing on
     March 27, 1998 to show cause why C.R. Thomson should not be
     held liable for penalties assessed, expenses incurred, and
     whether additional penalties should be imposed.
          A.   C.R. Thompson Trucking   
               C.R. Thompson failed to appear at the hearing.
          B.   Bell Atlantic  
               The witness for Bell Atlantic, Kathleen Dumaine,
     testified that during the course of routine pressure testing
     of telephone cables, Bell Atlantic discovered an air leak in
     a pressurized cable in the vicinity of manhole 5 on Daniel
     St. in Portsmouth, N.H.  Ms. Dumaine explained that through
     additional investigation, Bell Atlantic determined that a
     Dig-Safe ticket had been issued for that location to
     Knight's Plumbing and Heating and that C.R. Thompson
     performed the excavation.  Ms. Dumaine stated that damage
     had occurred to a 600-pair lead cable and creosote duct
     which required significant repair in the amount of
     $8,208.81.  Ms. Dumaine noted that according to records the
     area was marked and that the marks were still visible at the
     time of repair.  She also testified that the area had been
     backfilled with unsuitable material.
          C.   On Target
               Terry Sylvester, representing On Target, testified
     that his organization has a contract with Bell Atlantic to
     perform locating services with respect to Dig-Safe requests. 
     Mr. Sylvester indicated that a representative of his
     organization responded to a Dig-Safe request at Daniel's
     St., in Portsmouth, N.H. (Exhibit 2), located underground
     telephone facilities, and utilized the corridor marking
     method to mark the facilities with orange paint. Mr.
     Sylvester noted that exhibit 2 indicated that a Bell
     Atlantic representative involved with the repair noted that
     the damage had occurred within the visible marks.
          D.   Staff
               Richard G. Marini, P.E., Administrator of the
     Commission's Gas Safety Division, described the actions
     taken by the Safety Division in processing the violation and
     provided copies of all correspondence pertinent to the case.
     (Exhibit 1).  Mr. Marini noted that the appropriate
     documents had been sent certified mail and that
     representatives of C.R. Thompson had in fact received and
     signed for the documents. 
               Mr. Marini recommended that C.R. Thompson be
     assessed civil penalties and reimburse Bell Atlantic for
     damages in the amount of $8,208.81. 
               Based on the evidence submitted, and the failure
     of C.R. Thompson to attend the hearing, it is evident that
     C.R. Thompson has shown a complete disregard for the New
     Hampshire Underground Utility Damage Prevention Statute, RSA
     374:48 et al., and the NHPUC Code Of Administrative Rules
     Part Puc 800.
               Upon thorough review of the testimony and
     exhibits, we find that C.R. Thompson damaged marked
     underground facilities and pursuant to RSA 374:55,IV-a is
     subject to a civil penalty of $500.00, and liable for
     damages in the amount of $8,208.81. In addition, C.R.
     Thompson failed to notify Bell Atlantic that it had damaged
     the facilities and backfilled without permission. This
     action constitutes a violation of RSA 374:54 and pursuant to
     RSA 374:55,IV-b, C.R. Thompson is subject to an additional
     civil penalty of $500.00. 
               Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby 
               ORDERED,  that C.R. Thompson Trucking remit the
     amount of $1000.00 via certified check or money order
     payable to the State of New Hampshire and delivered to the
     New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, 8 Old Suncook
     Road, Concord, N.H. 03301-7319; and it is 
               FURTHER ORDERED, that C.R. Thompson Trucking,
     reimburse Bell Atlantic for damages incurred in the amount
     of $8,208.81; and it is
               FURTHER ORDERED, that the payments noted above
     shall be received no later than May 29, 1998; 
               By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this twelfth day of May, 1998.
        Douglas L. Patch    Bruce B. Ellsworth          Susan S.
            Chairman           Commissioner                  Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary