State regulators have ordered all natural gas suppliers in Minnesota to make safety devices available to customers that prevent the build-up of natural gas inside buildings. Excess flow valves — what are called EFVs — can reduce explosion risk by automatically stopping excessive and unplanned flows of natural gas. Congress passed legislation in 2006 requiring the valves on all new or replacement gas lines to single-family homes. Additional legislation passed in 2016 requires utilities notify customers that the valves are available and install them if a customer requests it. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has ordered that customers who request the valves will pay only the cost of excavation and surface restoration, not for labor and materials.
State regulators are also requiring utilities discuss installation of safety valves with all schools, hospitals, multi-unit residential and nursing facilities in their service area.