Arizona telecommunications provider CenturyLink says it has caught up with its backlog of requests to mark its underground lines, but it faces a state fine for failing to meet deadlines under the state’s blue-stake law.
At an open meeting of the Arizona Corporation Commission on Tuesday, the utility panel approved a proposed order requiring CenturyLink to pay a $115,000 fine based on about 30 late blue-stake tickets issued in the Phoenix area between the end of May and early July.
CenturyLink had a backlog of 32,000 line-locating requests in May but reported that all but a couple had been cleared by this week, according to the commission.
Each delayed location request represents a potentially costly delay on a construction project.
The telecom provider agreed to sign a consent order including payment of the fine and requiring the company to report its blue-stake compliance monthly to the commission for the next year.
In other ACC action
The Corporation Commission also approved new rules for Tucson Electric Power Co. and several other state-regulated utilities to conform with a ban on summertime residential disconnections.
Regulators adopted the ban in June after an Arizona Public Service Co. customer in Mesa died of heat-related causes after her power was cut off for partial non-payment.
Two rural cooperatives serving parts of northern Arizona, Navopache Electric and Utah-based Garkane Energy, were required to comply with the disconnect prohibition based on high temperatures rather than the standard prohibition against disconnects between June 1 and Oct. 15.