In October, 2016, The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced a final rule that expands safety requirements for excess flow valves (EFVs) to multi-residential and commercial applications. That version of the rule covered the installation of EFVs in new or replaced service lines for multi-family residences and small commercial buildings.
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.
In an amendment posted in December, 2016, the rule has been expanded again, and effective April 14, 2017, the new rule also includes any new or replaced branched service lines servicing SFRs, multifamily residences, and small commercial entities consuming gas volumes not exceeding 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet per Hour (SCFH).
PHMSA is also amending part 192 to require the use of either manual service line shut-off valves (e.g., curb valves) or EFVs, if appropriate, for new or replaced service lines with meter capacities exceeding 1,000 SCFH. 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.