Electronic Positive Response (EPR) is communication from the utility member (contract locator) to the excavator regarding the status of a DigAlert ticket. California has always had +Response in the law by requiring members to notify the excavator with status or mark the area to be excavated on site. What changed in Government Code 4216 on January 1st, 2017, is that Electronic Positive Response can now be made through the Notification Center starting January 1st, 2018. However, DigAlert will begin offering this service starting November 1st, 2017.
This means that members can respond to DigAlert's servers about the marking status of the ticket. DigAlert will then allow the excavator to check the responses through the website, SMS and apps anytime during life of the ticket as well as if the excavator has supplied an email address on the ticket. In addition, DigAlert will email the excavator at the start date and time listed on the ticket a complete status of responses, if the excavator has supplied an email address on the ticket.
Effective January 1st, 2021 EPR through the center is mandatory and will be REQUIRED unless an extension was granted by the California Safe Excavation Board for "good cause". Members granted an extension will have until December 31st, 2021 to implement EPR.
Once a ticket is created, it is sent out to all utility members who asked for notification in that area. As members clear or respond to the site they can then send a response back to DigAlert with information about what was completed. For example; "locate area marked", "no access to area", "clear - no conflict", etc. DigAlert will store that information with the ticket along with a date & time stamp. Members can make multiple responses to the same ticket however responses can't be edited or deleted. This means that all responses will show with their corresponding date and time.
Excavators can then view these responses via email, SMS (text) message, web portal or the mobile app. For information on to check responses, see Checking Electronic Positive Responses
For the member, EPR is an effective means of reducing the number of retransmits that they receive because the excavator saw no markings at the dig site.
For excavators, EPR provides them with information about the member facilities prior to arriving on the job site. If they provided an email address when the locate request was called in they will receive an email confirmation after the start date & time listed on the ticket.