[DOCKET NO. PHMSA-2011-0009; AMDT. NO 192-121]
PHMSA issued a preview version of their Final Rule that will expand the requirements for excess flow valves (EFVs) on new and replaced gas distribution pipelines. The Final Rule entitled “Expanding the Use of Excess Flow Valves in Gas Distribution Systems to Applications Other than Single-Family Residences” is expected to be published in the Federal Register within a few days.
The Final Rule expands safety requirements for Excess Flow Valves (EFVs) to multi-residential and commercial applications. The final rule requires the installation of EFVs in new or replaced service lines for multi-family residences, including apartment buildings and other multi-residential dwellings and small commercial buildings.
Excess Flow Valves automatically halt the flow of gas caused by damage to service lines that supply gas to buildings and significantly reduce the risk of fires or pipeline explosion. Excess flow valves are already required in new and replaced service lines that supply gas to single-family residences.
The rule also requires gas distribution companies to install curb valves, manually-operated shutoff valves located near the service main, or EFVs for all new or replaced service lines with meter capacities exceeding 1,000 standard cubic feet per hour to protect against uncontrolled gas releases from larger commercial and industrial users.
Lastly, this final rule requires operators to notify customers of their right to request installation of an EFV on service lines that are not being newly installed or replaced. PHMSA has left the question of who bears the cost of installing EFVs on service lines not being newly installed or replaced to the operator’s rate-setter.
This final rule is effective six months after publication in the Federal Register. If you would like a copy of the Final Rule, contact Jessica Foley, and a copy will be sent to you once it has been published in the Federal Register.