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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation P-96-003
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 6:45 P.M. ON 6/9/94, A 2-INCH-DIAMETER STEEL GAS SERVICE LINE THAT HAD BEEN EXPOSED DURING EXCAVATION SEPARATED AT A COMPRESSION COUPLING ABOUT 5 FEET FROM THE NORTH WALL OF JOHN T. GROSS TOWERS, AN EIGHT-STORY RETIREMENT HOME OPERATED BY THE ALLENTOWN HOUSING AUTHORITY AT ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA. THE FAILED UGI UTILITIES, INC,. (UGI) SERVICE LINE RELEASED NATAURAL GAS AT 55 PSIG PRESSURE, & THE ESCAPING GAS FLOWED UNDERGROUND TO GROSS TOWERS. THE GAS PASSED THROUGH OPENINGS IN THE BUILDING FOUNDATION, ENTERED THE MECHANICAL ROOM THROUGH FLOOR VENTS, & MIGRATED TO OTHER BUILDING FLOORS.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS TO ALL STATES & THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: REQUIRE GAS DISTRUBUTION OPERATOR TO INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES IN ALL NEW OR RENEWED GAS SERVICE LINES, WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES, INCLUDING SERVICE LINES SUPPLYING SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, & OTHER PLACES OF PUBLIC ASSEMBLY.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Pipeline
Location: Allentown, PA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA94MP003
Accident Reports:
UGI Utilities, Inc., Natural Gas Distribution Pipeline Explosion and Fire
Report #: PAR-96-01
Accident Date: 6/9/1994
Issue Date: 3/6/1996
Date Closed: 11/6/2001
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Commonwealth of Kentucky (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Commonwealth of Virginia (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
District of Columbia (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
State of Alabama (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
State of Alaska (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Arizona (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Arkansas (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of California (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
State of Colorado (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
State of Connecticut (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
State of Delaware (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
State of Florida (Closed - Acceptable Action)
State of Georgia (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Hawaii (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
State of Idaho (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of Illinois (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Indiana (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
State of Iowa (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Kansas (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Louisiana (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Maine (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
State of Maryland (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Michigan (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Minnesota (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Mississippi (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Missouri (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Montana (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Nebraska (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Nevada (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
State of New Hampshire (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of New Jersey (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of New Mexico (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
State of New York (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
State of North Carolina (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
State of North Dakota (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
State of Ohio (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Oklahoma (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Oregon (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
State of Rhode Island (Closed - Reconsidered)
State of South Carolina (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of South Dakota (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Tennessee (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Texas (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Utah (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Vermont (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Washington (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of West Virginia (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Wisconsin (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
State of Wyoming (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Excess Flow Valves

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: State of Hawaii
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Hawaii had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If Hawaii has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of Illinois
Date: 11/14/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT WHILE ILLINOIS HAS NO STATE LEGISLATION REQUIRING COMPANIES TO USE EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV'S), THE ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS ADOPTED THE U.S. DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION REGULATION 49 CFR PART 192 - TRANSPORTATION OF NATURAL GAS AND OTHER GAS BY PIPELINE, AS SAFETY STANDARDS FOR THE DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE OF GAS SYSTEM FACILITIES IN ILLINOIS. FURTHER, THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT SOME GAS SYSTEM OPERATORS IN ILLINOIS ARE VOLUNTARILY INSTALLING EFV'S ON NEW GAS SERVICE. ACCORDINGLY, BECAUSE ILLINOIS HAS ADOPTED AND IS ENFORCING 49 CFR PART 192, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Illinois
To: NTSB
Date: 8/11/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/17/2000 1:54:42 PM MC# 2001089 THE ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS ADOPTED FOR THE STATE OF ILLINOIS 49 CFR PART 192 - TRANSPORTATION OF NATURAL AND OTHER GAS BY PIPELINE, AS SAFETY STANDARDS FOR THE DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE OF GAS SYSTEM FACILITIES IN ILLINOIS. PART 192 INCLUDES PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR EXCESS FLOW VALVES (SECTION 192.3 8 1) AND EXCESS FLOW VALVE CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS (SECTION 192.3003) ESTABLISHED BY THE U.S. DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT). SECTION 192.383 ESTABLISHES STANDARDS FOR WHICH CUSTOMERS MUST RECEIVE NOTIFICAITON OF THE AVAILABILITY OF EXCESS FOW VALVES, THE POTENTIAL SAFETY BENEFITS TO BE DERIVED FROM EXCESS FLOW VALVES AND A DESCRIPTION OF THE INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE AND REPLACEMENT COSTS OF SUCH VALVES AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR THOSE COSTS. THE ILLINOIS PIPELINE SAFETY PROGRAM IS CERTIFIED UNDER AN AGREEMENT WITH THE U.S. DOT, RESEARCH AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION (RSPA), TO DISCHARGE FEDERAL OBLIGATIONS FOR INTRASTATE PIPELINE SAFETY WITHIN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. IN DISCHARGING THOSE OBLIGATIONS, THE ILLINOIS PIPELINE SAFETY PROGRAM ENFORCES THE PROVISIONS OF 49 CFR PART 192 FOR INTRASTATE NATURAL GAS PIPELINE SYSTEM OPERATING IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS. SEVERAL YEARS AGO, THE RSPA CONDUCTED A RULEMAKING ON THE EFVS ISSUE AND THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 192.383 OF 49 CFR ARE THE RESULT OF THAT RULEMAKING. AS YOU INDICATED IN YOUR LETTER, THE RSPA GAVE CONSIDERATION TO COMMENTS MADE BY INDUSTRY, STATE GOVERNMENTS, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, ASSOCIATION, AND THE PUBLIC. IN SECTION 192.383, WHILE NOT ADOPTING THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE NTSB, THE DOT HAS APPARENTLY COMPLIED WITH THE DIRECTION OF CONGRESS, AS YOU DESCRIBED IT IN YOUR LETTER, IN REQUIRING GAS SYSTEM OPERATORS TO NOTIFY THEIR CUSTOMERS ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF EFV'S AND THE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE COSTS OF EFV'S. IT IS APPARENT THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION BETWEEN THE NTSB, ON ONE HAND, AND THE RSPA AND DOT ON THE OTHER HAND, ABOUT THE NECESSITY FOR A RULE MANDATING THE UNIVERSAL INSTALLATION OF EFV'S. THE PIPELINE SAFETY PROGRAM OF THE ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISSION WILL CONTINUE TO ENFORCE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 192.383, AND DOES NOT CONTEMPLATE MODIFYING THAT APPROACH TO ITS DISCHARGE OF ITS OBLIGATIONS. IT IS APPROPRIATE TO NOTE AT THIS POINT THAT, WHILE UNIVERSAL INSTALLATION OF EFV'S IS NOT REQUIRED BY 49 CFR PART 192, CERTAIN NATURAL GAS SYSTEM OPERATORS IN ILLINOIS HAVE VOLUNTARILY GONE BEYOND THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 192.383 AND HAVE INSTITUTED PROGRAMS OF ROUTINELY INCLUDING INSTALLATION OF EFV'S ON NEW GAS SERVICE. I APPRECIATE YOUR BRINGING CONCERNS OF THE NTSB ABOUT PIPELINE SAFETY TO THE ATTENTION OF THE ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISSION AND LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR CONTINUED INTEREST IN THIS MATTER OF VITAL CONCERN TO PUBLIC SAFETY.

From: NTSB
To: State of Maryland
Date: 11/14/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT THERE IS NO MARYLAND REQUIREMENT MANDATING EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV'S), AND THAT THE STATE WILL NOT BE ESTABLISHING REGULATIONS MORE STRINGENT THAN THOSE OF 49 CFR 192. THE SAFETY BOARD FURTHER UNDERSTANDS THAT MARYLAND IS ASSESSING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PART 192 REVISIONS IN THE STATE. ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO STATE REQUIREMENT MANDATING EFV'S, BECAUSE MARYLAND IS IN AGREEMENT WITH THE U.S. DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION ON 49 CFR PART 192, AND WILL CONTINUE TO ENFORCE 49 CFR PARTS 192.381 AND .383, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Maryland
To: NTSB
Date: 8/22/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 09/05/2000 4:02:56 PM MC# 2001223 AS YOU ARE AWARE AMENDMENTS 49 CFR 192.380, 381 AND 383 TO THE FEDERAL PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS ESTABLISHED A PERFORMANCE STANDARD FOR EXCESS FLOW VALVES AND A CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT FOR NEW AND RENEWED SERVICE LINES. THE MARYLAND PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION IN AGREEMENT WITH THE DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION ENFORCES PART 192 OF THE FEDERAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS. MARYLAND RELIES ON THE OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY TO PERFORM STUDIES AND PROMULGATE APPROPRIATE REGULATIONS FOR SAFE GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATIONS. ACCORDINGLY WE WILL CONTINUE TO ENFORCE PARTS, 192.383 THAT RELATE TO EXCESS FLOW VALVES AND THE CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION STANDARDS. WE ARE CURRENTLY ASSESSING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PART 192 REVISIONS IN MARYLAND. WE WILL NOT BE ESTABLISHING MORE STRINGENT REGULATIONS REGARDING EXCESS FLOW VALVES UNLESS WARRANTED BY OUR ASSESSMENT. WE APPRECIATE YOUR CONCERN FOR PUBLIC SAFETY AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO CAREFULLY MONITOR THIS ISSUE.

From: NTSB
To: District of Columbia
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: ON 7/5/00, THE SAFETY BOARD REQUESTED INFORMATION ON ACTION THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HAD TAKEN OR INTENDED TO TAKE TO IMPLEMENT P-96-3. BECAUSE THE SAFETY BOARD HAS RECEIVED NO REPLY, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION/NO RESPONSE RECEIVED." IF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HAS COMPLETED ANY ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS RECOMMENDATION OR INITIATES SUCH ACTION AND INFORMS THE BOARD TO THAT EFFECT, THE BOARD WILL EVALUATE THE ACTION AND MAY RECONSIDER THE CLASSIFICATION OF THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: District of Columbia
Date:
Response: At the 1990 Board meeting addressing the NTSB’s Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements (MWL), the Board voted to place Safety Recommendations P-90-6 and P-90-12 on the MWL under the issue category “Pipeline Excess Flow Valve Installation.” Safety Recommendations P-25-24, P-96-2, P-96-3, and P-96-30 were added at later dates. In May 1997, this category’s name was changed to “Excavative Damage Protection to Underground Facilities.” This issue was removed from the MWL in 2002.

From: NTSB
To: State of Nevada
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: BECAUSE THE SAFETY BOARD HAS RECEIVED NO REPLY TO THESE REQUESTS, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION." IF NEVADA HAS COMPLETED ANY ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS RECOMMENDATION OR INITIATES SUCH ACTION AND INFORMS THE BOARD TO THAT EFFECT, THE BOARD WILL EVALUATE THE STATE'S ACTION AND MAY RECONSIDER THE CLASSIFICATION OF THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: State of Nevada
Date: 7/6/2000
Response: ON 2/26/97, P-96-3 WAS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE," BASED ON INFORMATION IN THE STATE OF NEVADA LETTER OF 4/16/96. TO DATE THERE HAS BEEN NO FURTHER RESPONSE TO P-96-3. THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING WHAT ACTION YOUR STATE HAS TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: State of Nevada
Date: 3/27/1997
Response: THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT VARIOUS FACTORS & CONDITONS WARRANT RECONSIDERATION OF THE PSCN'S POSITION. THE BOARD REVIEWED THE RSPA EVALUATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & DETERMINED THAT IT WAS BOTH LIMITED IN SCOPE & NOT AN EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT OF AVAILABLE INFO. THE EVALUATION CONSIDERED ONLY EXCESS FLOW VALVES IN SINGLE-RESIDENT GAS SERVICE LINES THAT OPERATE ABOVE 10 PSIG (POUNDS PER SQUARE INCH) PRESSURE; IT DID NOT CONSIDER EXCESS FLOW VALVES IN SERVICE LINES TO MULTISTORY APARTMENT BUILDINGS. MOREOVER, RSPA HAS NOT PERFORMED AN ASSESSMENT ON USING EXCESS FLOW VALVAES IN SERVICE LINES TO BUILDINGS IN WHICH A SINGLE VALVE WOULD PROTECT HUNDREDS OF LIVES. & LAST, RSPA'S PREVIOUS STUDY ON EXCESS FLOW VALVES FOUND THEM TO BE BOTH EFFECTIVE & COST BENEFICIAL. THE BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT THE STATE OF NEVADA WILL NOT MANDATE THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES UNDER THE CONDITIONS IDENTIFIED IN RECOMMENDATION & BELIEVES THAT THE CONCERNS OF THE PSCN DO NOT ACCURATELY REFECT THE PERFORMANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. WE ASK FOR A REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSURE PREPARED BY BOARD STAFF ABOUT THE PROVEN BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. IT PROVIDES INFO EXPLAINING THE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITY, RELIABILTY & SAFETY BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & IDENTIFIES COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THESE DEVICES. ALSO, IT ADDRESS THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST EXCESS FLOW VALVES ADVANCED BY THE PSCN. OUR ASSESSMENT OF AVAILABLE INFO IS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES ARE INEXPENSIVE, ARE RELIABLE, & ARE ABLE TO ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY. THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE STATES MUST BECOME ACTIVE PROPONENTS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES BECAUSE GAS CUSTOMERS & THE GENERAL PUBLIC RARELY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE DEVICES & HOW THEIR USE CAN MINIMIZE THE RISKS TO PEOPLE & PROPERTY IN THE EVENT OF A SERVICE LINE RUPUTURE. THE BOARD POINTS OUT THAT P-96-3 ASKS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES BE INSTALLED ONLY WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES. THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS SUPPORTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS & THE GAS SAFETY ACTION COUNCIL, A GAS CONSUMER ADVOCACY GROUP. A NUMBER OF NATIONAL INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE GAS PIPING TECHNICAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE, A BODY THAT MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO GAS OPERATORS ON SAFE OPERATIONS, IS DEVELOPING GUIDANCE ON SELECTING & USING EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE MANUFACTURERS STANDARDIZATION SOCIETY & THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING & MATERIALS HAVE ISSUED STANDARDS TO ENSURE THE SAFE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. PENDING REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSED MATAERIAL & RECONSIDERATION OF THE RECOMMENDED ACTION, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." WE BELIEVE THAT THE INFO PROVIDED SHOULD ENCOURAGE THE PSCN EITHER TO REQUIRE THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES OR, AT THE VERY LEAST, TO IMPLEMENT A PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM ENCOURAGING GREATER USE OF THESE SAFETY VALVES. THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE BEING KEPT INFORMED ABOUT YOUR STATE'S ACTIVITIES CONCERNING THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. SAFETY BOARD STAFF WOULD BE PLEASED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INFO OR TO ASSIST IN ANY WAY REGARDING THIS MATTER.

From: State of Nevada
To: NTSB
Date: 3/24/1997
Response:

From: State of Nevada
To: NTSB
Date: 4/16/1996
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH THE NEVADA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION ADVISED THAT IT BELIEVE THAT THE ACTIONS BY RSPA WERE ADEQUATE & BELIEVES THAT THERE IS NOT REASON FOR IT TO BEGIN & EXTENSIVE EVALUTION ON THE SAME ISSUE. IT CONSIDERED THAT TO DO SO WOULD BE DUPLICATIVE OF THE RSPA EFFORT.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Date: 1/12/2001
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT IN PENNSYLVANIA, EFV'S THAT MEET THE FEDERAL PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS AT 49 CFR 192.381 ARE BEING INSTALLED AT THE GAS OPERATOR'S EXPENSE ON ALL NEW AND/OR RENEWED RESIDENTIAL GAS SERVICE LINES. ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO STATE REQUIREMENT MANDATING EFV'S, THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT PENNSYLVANIA SUPPORTS THE USE OF EFV'S AND HAS ADOPTED 49 CFR PART 192; THEREFORE, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
To: NTSB
Date: 8/15/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/21/2000 4:07:06 PM MC# 2001113 EXCESS FLOW VALVES WHICH MEET THE FEDERAL PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS AT 49 CFR 192.381 ARE BEING INSTALLED ON ALL NEW AND/OR RENEWED RESIDENTIAL GAS SERVICE LINES. THESE ARE BEING INSTALLED AT THE GAS OPERATOR'S EXPENSE. THIS EFFECTIVELY ELIMINATES THE RECORD KEEPING REQUIREMENT CONTAINED IN 49 CFR PART 192.383. WITH REGARD TO SCHOOLS, CHURCHES AND BUILDINGS OF PUBLIC ASSEMBLY, WE ARE AWARE OF ONE GAS OPERATOR WHO HAS A PROGRAM TO INSTALL HIGH CAPACITY EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THESE INSTALLATIONS ARE LIMITED TO A MAXIMUM FLOW OF 2000 CFH THROUGH A ONE INCH PLASTIC SERVICE LINE. WHILE THIS MIGHT APPLY TO CHURCHES, SCHOOLS AND BUILDINGS OF PUBLIC ASSEMBLY, THEY ARE NOT SPECIFIED.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Date: 6/27/2000
Response: ON 7/23/97, P-96-3 WAS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE," BASED ON INFORMATION IN THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA LETTER OF 3/23/97. TO DATE THERE HAS BEEN NO RESPONSE TO P-96-3, -8, -9 AND -10. THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING WHAT ACTION YOUR STATE HAS TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT THESE RECOMMENDATIONS.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Date: 7/23/1997
Response: THE BOARD HAS TAKEN ISSUE WITH BOTH STUDIES BECAUSE, AS POINTED OUT BY BOTH THE AMERICAN GAS ASSOCIATION & THE BOARD, RSPA DOES NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT TYPES & QUANTITIES OF DATA AVAILABLE ON WHICH TO BASE AN OBJECTIVE STUDY, NOR HAS RSPA PERFORMED A DIRECTED STUDY ON THE EXPERIENCE OF ANY MAJOR PIPELINE OPERATOR THAT ROUTINELY INSTALLS EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE BOARD DOES NOT BELIEVE IT APPROPRIATE FOR THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA TO DEFER TO RSPA IN THIS INSTANCE; RATHER, IT SHOULD EXERCISE THE PRIVILEGE ALLOWED STATES BY THE GAS PIPELINE SAFETY ACT TO IMPLEMENT STANDARDS THAT ARE MORE STRINGENT THAN THE FEDERAL STANDARDS. AT A MINIMUM, THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA SHOULD INITIATE A PUBLIC INFO PROGRAM TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. ALTHOUGH SUCH A PROGRAM WILL NOT PROVIDE THE SAFETY IMPROVEMENT AFFORDED BY THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES, WE BELIEVE THAT IS NEEDED TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE SAFETY ADVANTAGES OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & TO ALERT CUSTOMERS THAT, FOR THE FIRST TIME, THEIR VIEWS PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN THE DECISION PROCESS ON THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. AN EFFECTIVE PUBLIC INFO PROGRAM WILL GIVE THE PUBLIC CONFIDENCE THAT THE INFO THEY ARE RECEIVING ON THE BENEFITS OF USING EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS OBJECTIVE & OF VALUE TO THEM IN DECIDING WHETHER TO PAY THE $10 TO $20 COST OF THE VALVE. PENDING YOUR CONSIDERATION OF ACTION FOR INFORMING THE PUBLIC ON THE AVAILABILITY OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & ON THE SAFETY BENEFITS OF USING THESE VALVE, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." THE BOARD WILL APPRECIATE BEING KEPT INFORMED ABOUT ANY ACTION PENNSYLVANIA PLANS TO TAKE IN FURTHER RESPONSE TO THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
To: NTSB
Date: 3/27/1997
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (PUC), ADVISED THAT SEVERAL GAS OPERATORS IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE STATE ALREADY USE EFVS OR HAVE A PILOT PROGRAM WAY. THE LETTER EXPLAINS THAT GAS SERVICE LINES ON SYSTEMS IN THE WESTERN PART OF THE STATE ARE OWNED BY THE CUSTOMER &, EXCEPT FOR ONE OPERATOR, THERE ARE NO PROGRAMS TO INSTALL EFVS. ALTHOUGH PUC STAFF IS SUPPORTIVE OF THE USE OF EFVS IN GENERAL, THE PUC HAS DEFERRED TO THE OFFICE OF PIPELINE (OPS) AS FAR AS MAKING A REQUIREMENT ON THEIR USE. THE PUC HAS INDICATED THAT IT WILL CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE GAS OPERATORS TO INSTALL EFVS AS A PART OF THEIR DAMAGE PREVENTION PROGRAM.

From: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
To: NTSB
Date: 5/2/1996
Response:

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Date: 6/16/1997
Response: ALTHOUGH THE BOARD CONTINUES TO BELIEVE THAT EACH GAS SERVICE LINE SHOULD BE EQUIPPED WITH AN EXCESS FLOW VALVE TO ENHANCE GAS CUSTOMER & PUBLIC SAFETY, WE RECOGNIZE THAT YOUR STATE HAS BEEN A LEADER IN THIS EFFORT & WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES BY OFFERING GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATORS INCENTIVES TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO INSTALL THE VALVES. BECAUSE OF YOUR PAST EFFORTS & YOUR STATE'S COMMITMENT TO CONTINUE FURTHERING THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: Commonwealth of Massachusetts
To: NTSB
Date: 3/25/1997
Response: THE GOVERNER, THROUGH THE MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES, ADVISED THAT MASSACHUSETTS HAS MADE ITS ACHIEVEMENTS ON THE USE OF EFVS THROUGH INDUSTRY INITIATVES TO ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY ALIGNED WITH A FAVORABLE COST/BENEFIT RATIO. HE BELIEVES THAT IF THE SAME END CAN BE APPROACHED WITHOUT MANDATE, THEN THE STATE SHOULD REFRAIN FROM IMPOSING HEAVY-HANDED REGULATION. THE DPU CHAIRMAN STATED THAT THE GOVERNOR HAD ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER AIMED AT ELIMINATING INTRUSIVE & INEFFICIENT REGULATIONS WITH BURDENSOME REQUIREMENTS & QUESTIONABLE MERIT. IN KEEPING WITH THE GOVERNOR'S INTENTION, THE STATE DOES NOT PLAN ACTION OTHER THAN THAT NOW IN PLACE & THAT WHICH MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Date: 2/26/1997
Response: THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE POSITIVE EXPERIENCES THAT MASSACHUSETTS GAS OPERATOR HAVE HAD WITH EXCESS FLOW VALVES SHOULD FAVOR EXTENDING THE USE OF THE VALVES TO ALL GAS SERVICE LINES THAT HAVE OPERATING CHARACTERISTICS COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS WILL NOT MANDATE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES UNDER THE CONDITIONS IDENTIFIED IN THE RECOMMENDATION. WE ASK FOR A REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSURE PREPARED BY BOARD STAFF ABOUT THE PROVEN BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES, WHICH IN FACT CITES MASSACHUSETTS' POSITIVE EXPERIENCE. THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE STATES MUST BECOME ACTIVE PROPONENTS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES BECAUSE GAS CUSTOMERS & THE GENERAL PUBLIC RARELY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE DEVICES & HOW THEIR USE AN MINIMIZE THE RISKS TO PEOPLE & PROPERTY IN THE EVENT OF A SERVICE LINE RUPTURE. THE BOARD POINTS OUT THAT P-96-3 ASKS THT EXCESS FLOW VALVES BE INSTALLED ONLY WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES. THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS SUPPORTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS & GAS SAFETY ACTION COUNCIL, A GAS CONSUMER ADVOCACY GROUP. A NUMBER OF NATIONAL INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE GAS PIPING TECHNICAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE, A BODY THAT MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO GAS OPERATORS ON SAFE OPERATIONS, IS DEVELOPING GUIDANCE ON SELECTING & USING EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE MANUFACTURERS STANDARDIZATION SOCIETY & THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING & MATERIALS HAVE ISSUED STANDARDS TO ENSURE THE SAFE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. PENDING REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSED MATERIAL & RECONSIDERATION OF THE RECOMMENDED ACTION. P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE BEING KEPT INFORMED ABOUT YOUR STATE'S ACTIVITIES CONCERNING THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. SAFETY BOARD STAFF WOULD BE PLEASED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INFO OR TO ASSIST IN ANY WAY REGARDING THIS MATTER.

From: Commonwealth of Massachusetts
To: NTSB
Date: 5/14/1996
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH THE MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES, ADVISED THAT SEVERAL COMPANIES IN ITS STATE ALREADY ROUTINELY INSTALLED EFVS & THAT OTHERS ARE INVESTIGATING THEIR USE. MASSACHUSETTS HAS MORE THAN 90,000 EFVS INSTALLED & IT HAS MORE THAN 18 YEARS EXPERIENCE WITH EFVS. IT NOTED THAT IT WAS AWARE OF 107 INSTANCES OF SUCCESSFUL CLOSURES OF EFVS DURING CATASTROPHIC LINE FAILURES & THAT IT WAS AWARE OF NO FAILURES OF EFVS TO PROPERLY FUNCTION. BECAUSE IT HAS HAD GOOD SUCCESS WITH A VOLUNTARY APPROACH TO USING EFVS IT REQUESTED THAT THE BOARD RECONSIDER IT RECOMMENDATION TO THE STATE.

From: NTSB
To: State of Mississippi
Date: 11/15/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS CONVINCED OF THE BENEFITS AND MERITS OF THE REQUIRED EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV). WHILE MISSISSIPPI DOES NOT HAVE ANY STATE LEGISLATION REQUIRING GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATORS TO INSTALL EFV'S, THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT THE STATE'S PRIMARY GAS PROVIDER, MISSISSIPPI VALLEY GAS COMPANY, REPORTS THAT EMERGENCY SHUT-OFF VALVES ARE CURRENTLY IN USE IN SOME PLACES. THE SAFETY BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT MISSISSIPPI HAS NOT REQUIRED THE INSTALLTION OF EFV'S AS REQUESTED; HOWEVER, BECAUSE THE STATE DOES COMPLY WITH 49 CFR PART 192, AND REQUIRES GAS DISTRIBUTORS TO MAKE EFV'S AVAILABLE TO THEIR CUSTOMERS FOR PURCHASE OR INCLUDE THEM IN THE INSTALLATION OF NEW SERVICE LINES, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Mississippi
To: NTSB
Date: 8/10/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/21/2000 4:05:27 PM MC# 2001112 THE MISSISSIPPI DEPT. OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, ENERGY DIVISION, HAS INFORMED US THEY HAVE REVIEWED ALL AVAILABLE MISSISSIPPI CODE SECTIONS ON OIL AND GAS PIPELINE SAFETY. AFTER REVIEWING THE MISSISSIPPI CODE, THE DEPT. OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, ENERGY DIVISION, WAS UNABLE TO FIND ANY LEGISLATION REQUIRING THE USE OF EMERGENCY SHUT-OFF VALVES, MISSISSIPPI VALLEY GAS COMPANY (PRIMARY PROVIDER OF NATURAL GAS IN MISSISSIPPI) HAS INFORMED US THAT EMERGENCY SHUT-OFF VALVES ARE CURRENTLY IN USE IN SOME PLACES IN THE STATE.

From: State of Wyoming
To: NTSB
Date: 9/29/1997
Response:

From: NTSB
To: State of Wyoming
Date: 7/21/1997
Response: THE BOARD ENCLOSED WITH ITS 2/26/97, LETTER TO YOU A FACT SHEET ON EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THAT FACT SHEET INCLUDED INFO ON EXPERIENCE WITH MODERN EXCESS FLOW VALVE DESIGNS BY MAJOR GAS OPERATORS. THAT INFO IS CONTRARY TO THE INFO GIVEN YOU BY THE WYOMING PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION. IT APPEARS THAT THE COMMISSION'S INFO RELATES TO EXCESS FLOW VALVE DESIGNS OF THE 1950S & EARLY 1960; IT CERTAINLLY IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH MODER EXCESS FLOW VALVE DESIGNS. THE PROBLEMS WITH THE OLDER EXCESS FLOW VALVES HAVE BEEN TRACED PRIMARILY TO PROBLEMS OF INSALLATION BY GAS OPERATORS, NOT TO THE DESIGN OF THE VALVES. THE BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT THE STATE WYOMING WILL NOT MANDATE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES UNDER THE CONDITIONS IDENTIFIED IN THE RECOMMENDATION. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE WYOMING PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION HAS NOT REVIEWED MODERN EXCESS FLOW VALVE DESIGNS & NOT MADE YOU AWARE OF THEIR RELIABILITY & THEIR POTENTIAL FOR MINIMIZING THE CONSEQUENCES OF SERVICE LINE RUPTURES. IN RESPONSE TO THE WYOMING PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION'S POSITION, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: State of Wyoming
To: NTSB
Date: 4/24/1997
Response: THE GOVERNOR ADVISED THAT THE WYOMING PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION INFORMED HIM THAT SMALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES FOR USE ON CUSTOMER SERVICE LINES EXPERIENCE HIGH RATES OF FAILURE & THAT THIS HAS POSED A SUBSTANTIAL & EXPENSIVE PROBLEM FOR UTILITIES & THEIR CUSTOMERS. HE STATED THE COMMISSION OPPOSES THE MANDATORY USE OF EFVS UNTIL THEY CAN BE IMPROVED TO PREVENT UNINTENTIONAL CLOSINGS. HE CONCURRED WITH THE COMMISSION' POSITION.

From: NTSB
To: State of Wyoming
Date: 2/26/1997
Response: THE BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT THE STATE OF WYOMING WILL NOT MANDATE THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES UNDER THE CONDITIONS IDENTIFIED IN THE RECOMMENDATION & BELIEVES THAT THE CONCERNS OF THE WYOMING PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION DO NOT ACCURATELY REFLECT THE PERFORMANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. WE ASK FOR A REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSURE PREPARED BOARD STAFF ABOUT THE PROVEN BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. IT PROVIDES INFO EXPLAINING THE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITY, RELIABILITY, & SAFETY BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & IDENTIFIES COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THESE DEVICES. ALSO, IT ADDRESSES THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST EXCESS FLOW VALVES ADVANCED BY THE WYOMING PUBLIC SERVICE. OUR ASSESSMENT OF AVAILABLE INFO IS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES ARE INEXPENSIVE, ARE RELIABLE, & ARE ABLE TO ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY. THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE STATES MUST BECOME ACTIVE PROPONENTS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES BECAUSE GAS CUSTOMERS & THE GENERAL PUBLIC RARELY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE DEVICES & HOW THEIR USE CAN MINIMIZE THE RISKS TO PEOPLE PROPERTY IN THE EVENT OF A SERVICE LINE RUPTURE. THE BOARD POINTS OUT THAT P-96-3 ASKS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES BE INSTALLED ONLY WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILAVLE VALVES. THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS SUPPORTED BY TH E INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS & THE GAS SAFETY ACTION COUNCIL, A GAS CONSUMER ADVOCACY GROUP. A NUMBER OF NATIONAL INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE GAS PIPING TECHNICAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE, A BODY THAT MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO GAS OPERATORS ON SAFE OPERATIONS, IS DEVELOPING GUIDANCE ON SELECTING & USING EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE MANUFACTURERS STANDARDIZATION SOCIETY & THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING & MATERIALS HAVE ISSUED STANDARDS TO ENSURE THE SAFE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. PENDING REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSED MATERIAL & RECONSIDERATION OF THE RECOMMENDED ACTION, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPOSNE." THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE BEING KEPT INFORMED ABOUT YOUR STATE'S ACTIVITIES CONCERNING THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE BOARD STAFF WOULD BE PLEASED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INFO OR TO ASSIST IN ANY WAY REGARDING THIS MATTER.

From: State of Wyoming
To: NTSB
Date: 3/26/1996
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH THE WYOMING PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION EXPRESSED HIS UNDERSTANDING THAT THE SMALLER EFVS USED ON GAS SERVICE LINES ARE NOT AS RELIABLE AS LARGER EFVS NOW USED ON PIPELINES IN WYOMING. HE DIRETED THE WYOMING PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIOIN TO CLOSELY MONITOR NEW DEVELOPMENT IN VALVE TECHNOLOG, BUT HAS NO PLANS TO ACT NOW ON THE RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: State of Connecticut
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Connecticut had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed-Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If Connecticut has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of Iowa
Date: 8/1/1997
Response: THE BOARD HAS TAKEN ISSUE WITH BOTH THESE STUDIES BECAUSE, AS POINTED OUT BY BOTH THE AMERICAN GAS ASSOCIATION & THE BOARD, RSPA DOES NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT TYPES & QUANTITIES OF DATA AVAILABLE ON WHICH TO BASE AN OBJECTIVE STUDY, NOR HAS RSPA PERFORMED A DIRECTED STUDY ON THE EXPERIENCE OF ANY MAJOR PIPELINE OPERATOR THAT ROUTINELY INSTALLS EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE BOARD DOES NOT BELIEVE IT APPROPRIATE FOR THE STATE OF IOWA TO FOLLOW RSPA'S LEAD IN THIS INSTANCE; RATHER, IT SHOULD EXERCISE THE PRIVILEGE ALLOWED STATES BY TH GAS PIPELINE SAFETY ACT TO IMPLEMENT STANDARDS THAT ARE MORE STRINGENT THAN THE FEDERAL STANDARDS. SUCH ACTION IS PERMISSIBLE & THERE IS NO REASON WHY IT SHOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THE FEDERAL GRANT-IN-AID ALLOCATION TO THE STATE. THE BOARD VIEWS THE STATE OF IOWA'S COMMITMENT TO INITIATE A PUBLIC INFO PROGRAM ENCOURAGING THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES AS A POSITIVE ALTERNATIVE TO REQUIRING THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES BE INSTALLED. ALTHOUGH SUCH A PROGRAM WILL NOT NECESSARILY PROVIDE THE SAME PROTECTION AS WOULD A REQUIREMENT, WE BELIEVE THAT THE PUBLIC SHOULD BE INFORMED ABOUT THE SAFETY ADVANTAGES OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & GAS CUSTOMERS SHOULD BE ALERTED THAT, FOR THE FIRSTTIME, THEIR VIEWS PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN T HE DECISION ON THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. AN EFFECTIVE PUBLIC INFO PROGRAM WILL GIVE THE PUBLIC CONFIDENCE THAT THE INFO THEY ARE RECEIVING IS OBJECTIVE & OF VALUE TO THEM IN DECIDING WHETHER TO PAY THE $10 TO $20 COST OF THE VALVE. BECAUSE OF YOUR COMMITMENT TO ENCOURAGING THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES ONCE RSPA DOCKET NO. PS-118A IS COMPLETED, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ALTERNATE ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: State of Iowa
To: NTSB
Date: 3/24/1997
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH THE IOWA UTILITIES BOARD, ADVISED AGAIN THAT THERE ARE NO REGULATORY IMPEDIMENTS TO THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES IN IOWA & IT HAD CONCLUDED THAT MANDATING THEIR INSTALLATION COULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED. THE IOWA BOARD CITED THE ACCOUNTABLE PIPELINE SAFETY AN PARTNESHIP ACT OF 1996 NOTING THAT THAT ACT HAD INCREASED THE LEVEL OF INDUSTRY INPUT & BENEFIT/COST CONSIDERATION IN THE FEDERAL RULEMAKING PROCESS. AS AN AGENCY RECEIVING PIPELINE SAFETY GRANT FUNDS, THE IOWA BOARD FEELS THAT IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE TO DISREGARD THE SENTIMENT EXPRESSED BY CONGRESS BY RECONSIDERING A RULE OT ADOPTED AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL FOR JUST THOSE REASONS. THE IOWA BOARD STATED THAT IT HAS NO MAJOR OBJECTION TO THE ALTERNATE RECOMMENDATION THAT A PUBLIC INFO PROGRAM BE IMPLEMENTED TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. HOWEVER, THE AGENCY BELIEVES THAT SUCH ACTION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ONLY AFTER A FINAL RULE ON EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS PUBLISHED BY RSPA. IT PLEDGED THAT ONCE THE RULE IS ISSUED, IT WILL IMMEDIATELY COMPLY WITH THE ALTERNATE RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: State of Iowa
Date: 2/26/1997
Response: THE BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT THE STATE OF IOWA WILL NOT MANDATE THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES UNDER THE CONDITIONS IDENTIFIED IN THE RECOMMENDATION & BELIEVES THAT THE CONCERNS OF THE IOWA UTILITIES BOARD DO NOT ACCURATELY REFLECT THE PERFORMANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. WE ASK FOR A REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSURE PREPARED BY SAFETY BOARD STAFF ABOUT THE PROVEN BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. IT PROVIDES INFO EXPLAINING THE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITY, RELIABILITY, & SAFETY BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVELS & IDENTIFIES COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THESE DEVICES. ALSO, IT ADDRESSES THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST EXCESS FLOW VALVES ADVANCED BY THE IOWA UTILITIES BOARD. OUR ASSESSMENT OF AVAILABLE INFO IS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES ARE INEXPENSIVE, ARE RELIABLE, & ARE ABLE TO ENHANE PUBLIC SAFETY. THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE STATES MUST BECOME ACTIVE PROPONENTS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES BECAUSE GAS CUSTOMERS & GENERAL PUBLIC RARELY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE DEVICES & HOW THEIR USE CAN MINIMIZE THE RISKS TO PEOPLE & PROPERTY IN THE EVENT OF A SERVICE LINE RUPTURE. THE BOARD POINTS OUT THAT P-96-3 ASKS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES BE INSTALLED ONLY WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES. THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS SUPPORTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS & THE GAS SAFETY ACTION COUNCIL, A GAS CONSUMER ADVOCACY GROUP. A NUMBER OF NATIONAL INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE GAS PIPING TECHNICAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE, A BODY THAT MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO GAS OPERATORS ON SAFE OPERATIONS IS DEVELOPING GUIDANCE ON SELECTING & USING EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE MANUFACTURERS STANDARDIZATION SOCIETY & THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING & MATERIALS HAVE ISSUED STANDARDS TO ENSURE THE SAFE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. PENDING REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSED MATERIAL & RECONSIDERATION OF THE RECOMMENDED ACTION, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." WE BELIEVE THAT THE INFO PROVIDED SHOULD ENCOURAGE THE IOWA UTILITIES BOARD EITHER TO REQUIRE THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES OR, AT THE VERY LEAST, TO IMPLEMENT A PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM ENCOURAGING GREATER USE OF THESE SAFETY VALVES. THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE BEING KEPT INFORMED ABOUT YOUR STATE'S ACTIVITIES CONCERNING THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. SAFETY BOARD STAFF WOULD BE PLEASED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INFO OR TO ASSIST IN ANY WAY REGARDING THIS MATTER.

From: State of Iowa
To: NTSB
Date: 5/3/1996
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH THE IOWA UTILITIES BOARD, ADVISED THAT THERE ARE NO REGULATORY IMPEDIMENTS TO THE INSTALLATION OF EFVS IN IOWA, THAT IT HESITATES TO REQUIRE THEM BECAUSE OF CONCERNS ABOUT COST EFFECTIVENESS & SPECIFIC CLAIMS ABOUT POOR PERFORMANCE & PROBLEMS WHEN EFVS ARE NOT INSTALLED UNIFORMLY ON ALL SERVICES.

From: NTSB
To: State of Arkansas
Date: 11/26/2001
Response: The Safety Board notes that although Arkansas has not followed the recommendation in P-96-3 to require operators to install EFVs, the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) adopted the pipeline safety standards issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 192. The Board also notes that the APSC requires natural gas distribution operators, when installing or renewing service lines, to notify customers of the option to have an EFV installed. Reportedly, the customers are provided with an explanation of how the EFV might prevent potential injuries and property damage, the cost to the customer for the installation, and an estimated cost the customer could expect to incur if the EFV activated or needed repair. Although Arkansas has not enacted a state requirement mandating EFVs, it has provided a viable alternative by adopting and enforcing the federal regulations at Title 49 CFR Part 192. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Alternate Action."

From: State of Arkansas
To: NTSB
Date: 8/8/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/14/2001 7:29:28 PM MC# 2010646 I am responding to your recent letter that references Safety Recommendation P-96-3 issued by the National Transportation Safety Board. Your letter requested information on any action taken by the State of Arkansas to implement P-96-3, which recommends that natural gas distribution operators he required to install an excess flow valve (EFV) in all new or renewed natural gas service lines. The Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) adopted the pipeline safety standards issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation in CFR 49 Parts 192.381 and 192.383. APSC has also taken action to require natural gas distribution operators, when installing or renewing service lines, to notify customers of the option to have an EFV installed. The customers are provided wit h an explanation of how the EFV might prevent potential injuries and property damage, the cost to the customer f or the installation, and an estimated cost the customer could expect to incur if the EFV activated or had to be repaired. Although the State of Arkansas has not followed the recommendation in P-96-3 to require operators to install EFV's, the recommendation was carefully considered and appreciated. Please continue to let me or my regulatory liaison, Mark White, know of any public safety recommendations or concerns your office may have in the future. This administration is always interested in ways to improve the safety and well being of the citizens in Arkansas.

From: NTSB
To: State of Arkansas
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Arkansas had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If Arkansas has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of New Mexico
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of New Mexico had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If New Mexico has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of Ohio
Date: 1/5/2001
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF OHIO (PUCO), THE STATE REGULATORY AGENCY FOR GAS PIPELINE SAFETY, HAS ENACTED ALL FEDERAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS, 49 CFR 192.381 AND 192.383, WHICH ADDRESS THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS OF EFV'S AND THE CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. IN ADDITION, THE BOARD NOTES THAT PUCO HAS ENCOURAGED COMPANIES OPERATING IN OHIO TO ADOPT P-96-3; THAT ALL UTILITIES IN OHIO HAVE NOTIFIED THEIR CUSTOMERS ABOUT EFV AVAILABILITY, COST, AND MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS; AND THAT, IF FEDERAL REGULATIONS MANDATE EFV INSTALLATION, OHIO WILL FOLLOW SUIT. THE SAFETY BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT SEVERAL LARGE DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES IN OHIO HAVE ALREADY ADOPTED THE RECOMMENDATION AND CURRENTLY REQUIRE THE INSTALLATION OF EFV'S WHERE APPLICABLE. ALTHOUGH OHIO HAS NOT ENACTED A STATE REQUIREMENT MANDATING EFV'S, IT HAS PROVIDED A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE BY ADOPTING AND ENFORCING FEDERAL REGULATIONS. ACCORDINGLY, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Ohio
To: NTSB
Date: 9/19/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 10/03/2000 1:16:22 PM MC# 2001467 THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF OHIO IS THE STATE REGULATORY AGENCY IN OHIO WITH JURISDICTION OVER GAS PIPELINE SAFETY. AS YOU KNOW, OHIO HAS ENACTED ALL FEDERAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS. GAS PIPELINE SAFETY IS ONE OF THE COMMISSION'S HIGHEST PRIORITIES. THE COMMISSION ENDORSES P-96-3, AND HAS ENCOURAGED COMPANIES OPERATING IN OHIO TO ADOPT IT. ALL UTILITIES IN OHIO HAVE NOTIFIED THEIR CUSTOMER'S ABOUT EXCESS FLOW VALVE AVAILABILITY, COST AND MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS. IT IS UP TO THE CUSTOMER TO MAKE THE CHOICE. IF THE U.S. DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION, OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY MANDATES INSTALLATION, OHIO WILL FOLLOW SUIT. SEVERAL LARGE DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES HAVE ALREADY ADOPTED THE RECOMMENDATION AND CURRENTLY REQUIRE THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES WHERE APPLICABLE. THE COMMISSION APPRECIATES THE EFFORTS OF THE BOARD AND STANDS READY TO ASSIST YOU IN ANY WAY WE CAN.

From: NTSB
To: State of Washington
Date: 11/14/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT THE STATE OF WASHINGTON UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION HAS AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE THE MINIMUM SAFETY STANDARDS CONCERNING THE CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE, AND OPERATION OF PIPELINES TRANSPORTING NATURAL GAS IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON (RCW 80.28.210). ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO STATE REQUIREMENT MANDATING EFV'S, BECAUSE WASHINGTON HAS ADOPTED AND IS ENFORCING TITLE 49 CFR PART 192, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Washington
To: NTSB
Date: 8/11/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/15/2000 1:41:17 PM MC# 2001070 THE COMMISSION HAS AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE THE MINIMUM SAFETY STANDARDS CONCERNING THE CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE, AND OPERATION OF PIPELINES TRANSPORTING NATURAL GAS IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON (RCW 80.28.210). THE COMMISSION HAS ADOPTED THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS TITLE 49, PART 192, AND CHAPTER 480-93 OF THE WASHINGTON ADMINISTRATIVE CODE AS THE MINIMUM STANDARD. AS PART OF A GENERAL ORDER (DOCKET UG980962) IN DECEMBER 1998, THE COMMISSION APPROVED AMENDMENTS TO THE WASHINGTON ADMINISTRATIVE CODE (WAC) 480-93-010 COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL STANDARDS. THE ORDER ADOPTED, BY REFERENCE, RECENT FEDERAL AMENDMENTS RELATING TO NATURAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY. THE RESEARCH AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION AMENDMENT 19283 IN DOCKET PS-I 18A FOR EXCESS-FLOW VALVE - CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION WAS PART OF THAT ORDER. THE COMMISSION REGULATES FOUR MAJOR LDC'S WITHIN THE STATE AND HAS ON FILE FROM EACH LDC, A TARIFF THAT REQUIRES CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION OF EFV FOR NEW AND REPLACED GAS SERVICE LINES. ADDITIONALLY, THE COMMISSION HAS ORDERED THE USE OF AN EFV AT A HIGH-PRESSURE GAS SERVICE LINE THAT IS IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO A RESIDENTIAL BUILDING.

From: NTSB
To: State of Delaware
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Delaware had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If Delaware has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of New Jersey
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD HAS CLASSIFIED P-96-3 TO 24 STATES "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION" BECAUSE THESE STATES, ALTHOUGH NOT ENACTING A STATE REQUIREMENT MANDATING EFV'S, HAVE PROVIDED A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE BY ADOPTING AND ENFORCING THE FEDERAL REGULATIONS AT TITLE 49 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS PART 192. AFTER REVIEW OF NEW JERSEY'S 6/24/98, RESPONSE, AND IN CONSIDERATION OF THE SAFETY BOARD'S POSITION WITH RESPECT TO THE 24 OTHER STATES, THE SAFETY BOARD HAS DETERMINED THAT NEW JERSEY'S POSITION ON EFV'S IS SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE OTHER STATES. ACCORDINGLY, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION" TO THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY.

From: NTSB
To: State of New Jersey
Date: 7/6/2000
Response: ON 8/26/98, P-96-3 WAS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE RESPONSE," BASED ON INFORMATION IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY LETTER OF 6/24/98. TO DATE THERE HAS BEEN NO FURTHER RESPONSE TO P-96-3. THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING WHAT ACTION YOUR STATE HAS TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: State of New Jersey
To: NTSB
Date: 9/25/1998
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 10/2/98 2:25:29 PM MC# 981204

From: NTSB
To: State of New Jersey
Date: 8/26/1998
Response: THE BOARD IS PLEASED THAT THREE OF THE FOUR GAS UTILITY OPERATORS IN NEW JERSEY ARE VOLUNTARILY INSTALLING EFVS, & THAT FOURTH OPERATOR WILL BE REQUIRED TO DO SO. THE BOARD IS ENCOURAGED THAT NEW JERSEY NOW REQUIRES GAS UTILITIES TO INFORM CUSTOMERS OF NEW & EXISTING GAS SERVICE LINES THAT EFVS CAN BE INSTALLED FOR A COST, IS AGGRESSIVELY PROMOTING THE ONE-CALL SYSTEM, & USES A GEOGRAPHICAL INFO SYSTEM TO IDENTIFY PIPELINES IN THE STATE. ALTHOUGH DISAPPOINTED THAT NEW JERSEY IS STILL EVALUATING THE FEASIBILITY OF INSTALLING EFVS IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS, SUCH AS SCHOOLS & CHURCHES, WE ARE PLEASED WITH THE PROGRESS THE STATE HAS MADE. PENDING FURTHER REPLY ON THIS ISSUE, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE RESPONSE.

From: State of New Jersey
To: NTSB
Date: 6/24/1998
Response: (Letter Mail Controlled 6/29/98 3:34:36 PM MC# 9808226-24-98) THREE OF THE FOUR GAS UTILITIES IN NEW JERSEY ARE VOLUNTARILY INSTALLING EFVS IN NEW & RENEWED RESIDENTIAL SERVICES, WHICH OPERATE AT 10 PSIG OR MORE. THE FOURTH OPERATOR IS UNDER BOARD IN ORDER TO INSTALL THESE DEVICES PURSUANT TO A PREVIOUS ENFORCEMENT ACTION. CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION: PIPELINE REGULATIONS, EFFECTIVE 2/3/99, THE UTILITIES SHALL INFORM SINGLE-RESIDENCE CUSTOMERS WITH NEW OR RENEWED SERVICE LINES WHICH OPERATE CONTINUOUSLY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AT PRESSURES OF NOT LESS THAN 10 PSIG OF THE AVAILABILITY OF EFVS AT COST. IN ADDITION, UTILITIES MUST INSTALL EFVS IN SERVICE LINES FOR EXISITNG SINGLE -RESIDENCE CUSTOMERS WHO REQUEST INSTALLATION. HOWEVER, SINCE THE FOUR UTILITIES ARE INSTALLING EFVS ON ALL NEW & RENEWED SINGLE-RESIDENCE SERVICES, THEY WILL BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE CODE REQUIREMENTS REGARDING NOTIFICATION. NEW JERSEY BELIEVES IN THE ONE-CALL SYSTEM. THE BOARD WILL MONITOR A CASE IN MASSACHUSETTS, & WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE INSTALLATION & EFFECTIVENESS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES TO ASSURE THAT SUFFICIENT STEPS ARE BEING TAKEN TAKEN TO ENHANCE PIPELINE SAFETY IN NEW JERSEY.

From: NTSB
To: State of New Jersey
Date: 1/27/1998
Response: THE BOARD ASKED THAT THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY REQUIRE GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATORS TO INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES IN ALL NEW OR RENEWED GAS SERVICE LINES, WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES, INCLUDING SERVICE LINES SUPPLY SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, & OTHER PLACES OF PUBLIC ASSEMBLY. THE BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT THE STATE NEW JERSEY IS WORKING ON THIS ISSUE & EXPECTS TO HAVE A FINAL POSITION FORMULATED WITHIN 60 DAYS. PENDING FURTHER RESPONSE FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY ON THE ACTION TAKEN ON THIS ISSUE, P-96-3 WILL REMAIN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--AWAIT RESPONSE."

From: State of New Jersey
To: NTSB
Date: 12/16/1997
Response: (Letter Mail Controlled 12/24/97 11:55:40 AM MC# 971780) THE GOVERNOR HAS ASKED THE BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES TO RESPOND FOR THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY. "AT THE TIME OF OUR RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER, MEMBERS OF OUR DIVISION OS SERVICE EVALUATION WERE IN THE MIDST OF REVIEWING THE SUBJECT EFVS (EXCESS FLOW VALVES) WITH THE GAS UTILITIES OPERATING IN THE STATE OF NJ & WERE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT FORMULATING A POSITION ON THE ISSUE IN SHORT ORDER. AS A RESULT, A PROMPT REPLY TO YOUR LETTER WAS DELAYED PENDING A FINALIZATION OF A CONCISE POSITION WHICH COULD BE CONVEYED TO YOU. UNFORTUNATELY, TO DATE, DISCUSSIONS ON THIS CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE, THROUGH CONTINUING, HAVE NOT YET YIELDED A FINAL POSITION. HOWEVER, I HAVE NOW BEEN ASSURED THAT A FINAL RECOMMENDATION WILL BE FORMULATED WITHIN 60 DAYS. I WILL, OF COURSE, FORWARD WHATEVER INFO I CAN TO YOU AS SOON AS IT IS AVAILABLE."

From: State of New Jersey
To: NTSB
Date: 4/23/1997
Response:

From: NTSB
To: State of New Jersey
Date: 2/26/1997
Response: THE BOARD RECOGNIZES THAT THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY HAS TAKEN & IS CONTINUING TO TAKE SEVERAL ACTIONS TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES SHOULD BE REQUIRED. MOREOVER, THE BOARD IS ENCOURAGE THAT SOME GAS OPERATORS IN NEW JERSEY ARE VOLUNTARILY INSTALLING EXCESS FLOW VALVES TO ENHANCE GAS CUSTOMER & PUBLIC SAFETY. TO ASSIST THE STATE'S ONGOING EFFORTS, SAFETY BOARD STAFF HAS PREPARED THE ENCLOSED INFO ON THE PROVEN BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE ENCLOSURE PROVIDES INFO EXPLAINING THE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITY, RELIABILITY, & SAFETY BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & IDENTIFIES COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THESE DEVICES. OUR ASSESSMENT OF AVAILABLE INFO IS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES ARE INEXPENSIVE, ARE RELIABLE, & ARE ABLE TO ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY. THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE STATES MUST BECOME ACTIVE PROPONENTS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES BECAUSE GAS CUSTOMERS & THE GENERAL PUBLIC RARELY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE DEVICES & HOW THEIR USE CAN MINIMIZE THE RISKS TO PEOPLE & PROPERTY IN THE EVENT OF A SERVICE LINE RUPTURE. THE BOARD POINTS OUT THAT P-96-3 ASKES THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES BE INSTALLED ONLY WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES. THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS SUPPORTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEF & THE GAS SAFETY ACTION COUNCIL, A GAS CONSUMER ADVOCACY GROUP. A NUMBER OF NATIONAL INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE GAS PIPING TECHNICAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE, A BODY THAT MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO GAS OPERATORS ON SAFE OPERATIONS, IS DEVELOING GUIDANCE ON SELECTING & USING EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE MANUFACTURERS STANDARDIZATION SOCIETY & AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING & MATERIALS HAVE ISSUED STANDARDS TO ENSURE THE SAFE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. PENDING REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSED MATERIAL & FURTHER RESPONSE REGARDING THE RECOMMENDED ACTION, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." WE BELIEVE THAT THE INFO PROVIDED SHOULD FURTHER ENCOURAGE THE NEW JERSEY BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES EITHER TO REQUIRE THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES OR, AT THE VERY LEAST, TO IMPLEMENT A PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM ENCOURAGING GREATER USE OF THESE SAFETY VALVES. THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE BEING KEPT INFORMED ABOUT YOUR STATE'S ACTIVITIES CONCERNING THE USE OF EXCESS VALVES. SAFETY BOARD STAFF WOULD BE PLEASED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INFO OR TO ASSIST IN ANY WAY REGARDING THIS MATTER.

From: State of New Jersey
To: NTSB
Date: 6/3/1996
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH THE NEW JERSEY BOARD TO PUBLIC UTILITIES, ADVISED THAT THE ISSUE OF USING EFVS HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF EXTENSIVE REVIEW BY THE STATE'S GAS OPERATORS OF USING EFVS HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF EXTENSIVE REVIEW BY STATE'S GAS OPERATOR OF SEVERAL YEARS. ALSO, ONE GAS OPERATOR HAS VOLUNTARILY INSTALLED EFVS IN NEW GAS SERVICES SINCE 1993 & TWO OTHERS ARE NOW INSTALLING THEM TO STUDY THEIR OPERATING CHARACTERISTICS FOR POSSIBLE ROUTINE USE IN THE FUTURE. THE NEW JERSEY BOARD IS TAKING AN ACTIVE ROLE IN MONITORING THE SUCCESS OF EFV INSTALLATIONS & PERFORMANCES TO ENABLE IT TO DETERMINE WHETHER BROADER APPLICATION OF EFVS SHOULD BE MADE.

From: State of New Jersey
To: NTSB
Date: 3/25/1996
Response:

From: NTSB
To: State of Indiana
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Indiana had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If Indiana has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of Maine
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Maine had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If Maine has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of California
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of California had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If California has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of Wisconsin
Date: 11/14/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT THE WISCONSIN PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (THE COMMISSION) HAS ADOPTED AND IS ENFORCING TITLE 49 CFR PART 192. ALTHOUGH WISCONSIN DOES NOT REQUIRE EFV'S, BECAUSE THE COMMISSION HAS ADOPTED AND IS ENFORCING TITLE 49 CFR PART 192, SOME OPERATORS ARE VOLUNTARILY INSTALLING EFV'S AND THE COMMISSION WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS ISSUE, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Wisconsin
To: NTSB
Date: 8/8/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/14/2000 3:43:23 PM MC# 2001062 THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (COMMISSION) HAS ADOPTED AND IS ENFORCING 49 CFR PART 192. THIS INCLUDES 192.383, WHICH REQUIRES GAS OPERATORS TO NOTIFY CUSTOMERS OF THE AVAILABILITY OF EFV'S AND THE SAFETY BENEFITS AND OPERATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EFV'S. TWO OF OUR GAS OPERATORS ARE VOLUNTARILY INSTALLING EFV'S ON ALL NEW AND RENEWED GAS SERVICE LINES AT THE PRESENT TIME. COMMISSION STAFF HAS STUDIED THE POSSIBILITY OF MANDATORY INSTALLATION OF EFV'S ON ALL NEW AND RENEWED SERVICE LINES. BECAUSE OF THE COLD WINTER WEATHER OUR STATE EXPERIENCES AND THE RESULTING FLUCTUATIONS IN SYSTEM OPERATING PRESSURES, WE FEEL THAT THERE IS ALSO A POSSIBILITY OF UNINTENDED OPERATION OF THE EFV. THIS UNINTENDED OPERATION ITSELF PRESENTS SOME RISK TO CUSTOMERS. AS A RESULT, THIS COMMISSION HAS NO PLANS AT PRESENT TO MANDATE THE USE OF EFV'S ON ALL NEW GAS SERVICE LINES ON A STATEWIDE BASIS. AS TECHNOLOGY IMPROVES AND OTHER TYPES OF EFV'S ARE DEVELOPED, WE WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS ISSUE AND MAY CHANGE OUR POLICY ON THIS MATTER.

From: NTSB
To: State of Colorado
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Colorado had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If Colorado has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Virginia
Date: 10/3/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT THE VIRGINIA STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION (COMMISSION) IS THE DESIGNATED AGENCY RESPONSIBLE FOR PIPELINE SAFETY IN VIRGINIA. THE BOARD NOTES THAT THE COMMISSION'S INSPECTION OF THE JURISDICTIONAL GAS UTILITIES IN VIRGINIA HAS NOT REVEALED ANY NON-COMPLIANCE RELATIVE TO EITHER 49 CFR 192.381 OR 192.383. ALTHOUGH VIRGINIA DOES NOT REQUIRE EFV'S, BECAUSE VIRGINIA HAS ADOPTED AND IS ENFORCING TITLE 49 CFR PART 192, AND BECAUSE OPERATORS IN VIRGINIA ARE VOLUNTARILY INSTALLING EFV'S, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: Commonwealth of Virginia
To: NTSB
Date: 8/16/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/21/2000 4:04:15 PM MC# 2001111 AS YOU MAY KNOW, THE COMMISSION IS THE DESIGNATED STATE AGENCY RESPONSIBLE FOR PIPELINE SAFETY IN VIRGINIA. THE COMMISION HAS ADOPTED TITLE 49, CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, PARTS 191, 192, 193, 195, AND 199 AS ITS MINIMUM PIPELINE SAFETY STANDARDS. SECTIONS 192.381 AND 192.383 OF TITLE 49, CFR, ADDRESS THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES AND THE CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. OUR INSPECTION OF THE JURISDICTIONAL GAS UTILITIES IN VIRGINIA HAS NOT REVEALED ANY NON-COMPLIANCE RELATIVE TO SELECTIONS 192.381 OR 192.383. OUR REVIEW OF THE JURISDICTIONAL GAS COMPANIES' POLICIES FOUND THAT THEY DO INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES FOR EXISTING CUSTOMERS UPON REQUEST AND IF THE CUSTOMER AGREES TO PAY THE COST OF THE INSTALLATION. THREE OF VIRGINIA'S SMALLER COMPANIES DID NOT HAVE POLICIES TO INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES ON NEW OR REPLACED SERVICE LINES. SUBSEQUENT TO OUR REVIEW, THESE COMPANIES HAVE INDICATED THAT THEY WILL CHANGE THEIR POLICIES AND BEGIN INSTALLING EXCESS FLOW VALVES ON NEW AND REPLACED SERVICE LINES. ALL OTHER JURISDICTIONAL COMPANIES ALREADY INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES ON NEW OR REPLACED SERVICE LINES WHEN THE OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH THE COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Virginia
Date: 8/3/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD HAS RECEIVED NO REPLY FROM VIRGINIA REGARDING P-96-3. THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING WHAT ACTION YOUR STATE HAS TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Kentucky
Date: 11/6/2001
Response: The Safety Board notes that the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) is the state agency responsible for regulatory oversight of pipeline safety within the Commonwealth, and the PSC participates in a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) in the monitoring of utilities and the administration of pipeline safety regulations. The Board further understands that, as part of this cooperative effort, the Kentucky General Assembly has legislatively adopted that portion of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) that deals with the safety of gas pipelines. In addition, when the OPS amended its regulations in 1998 to require customer notice of the availability of EFVs, the PSC issued a memorandum to the jurisdictional gas utilities operating in Kentucky. Although Kentucky has not enacted a state requirement mandating EFVs, it has provided a viable alternative by adopting and enforcing the federal regulations at Title 49 CFR Parts 191, 192, 193 and 199. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Alternate Action."

From: Commonwealth of Kentucky
To: NTSB
Date: 8/1/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/14/2001 7:31:29 PM MC# 2010647 Please accept this response to your July 19, 2001 letter addressed to Governor Paul E. Patton. The Public Service Commission is the state agency responsible for regulatory oversight of pipeline safety within the Commonwealth. As you may be aware, Kentucky participates in a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety in the monitoring of utilities and the administration of pipeline safety regulations. As part of this cooperative effort the Kentucky General Assembly has legislatively adopted that portion of the Code of Federal Regulations that deals with the safety of gas pipelines. When the Office of Pipeline Safety amended its regulations in 1998 to require customer notice of the availability of excess flow valves, this agency issued a memorandum to the jurisdictional gas utilities operating in Kentucky. A copy of that memorandum is attached for your information. The staff of the Public Service Commission routinely works with and assists various local, state, and federal agencies in our continuous effort to provide for the safety of our fellow citizens. Should you desire any additional information on this, or any other, subject, please feel free to contact either Eddie B. Smith, our program manager for pipeline safety, or me at the above address.

From: NTSB
To: Commonwealth of Kentucky
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Kentucky had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If Kentucky has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of South Dakota
Date: 3/6/2001
Response: The Safety Board notes that the 1999 South Dakota Pipeline Safety Statutes incorporate all Federal gas pipeline safety regulations, 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 191, 192, 193, and 199 in their entirety, including 49 CFR 192.381 and 383, which pertain to the performance standards of EFVs and the customer notification requirements. The Safety Board further notes that South Dakota’s Public Service Commission is prohibited from having State regulations more stringent than the Federal regulations, and therefore, will not require EFVs on new or renewed gas service lines as requested. Although South Dakota has not enacted a State requirement mandating EFVs, it has provided a viable alternative by adopting and enforcing the Federal regulations at Title 49 CFR Parts 191, 192, 193, and 199. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P?96?3 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Alternate Action."

From: State of South Dakota
To: NTSB
Date: 10/30/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 11/27/2000 4:16:53 PM MC# 2001740 1. The South Dakota State Legislature last amended the South Dakota Pipeline Safety Statutes at SDCL 49-34B, et. Seq. South Dakota’s current statutes adopt the federal safety standards as Code of Federal Regulations 49 appendix, Parts 191, 192, 193, and 199 as amendments to January 1, 1999, as the minimum safety standards for the state (49-34B-4). Moreover, our state statute prohibits the Public Utilities Commission from establishing safety standards that are more stringent than the federal safety standards mentioned above (49-34B-4). The South Dakota Pipeline Safety Program is enforcing the federal safety standards, including those found at 49-CFR Part 192.381 and 383, which pertain to the excess flow valves that are the subject of the Safety Board’s Recommendation P-96-3. As prescribed by the federal standards, our inspection and enforcement efforts are limited to residential service lines that operate at a pressure not less than 10psi (49 CFR 192.381) (a)0. Moreover, the federal safety standards mandate is for a notification of the availability of excess flow valves to the customer; it is not a requirement that excess flow valves be installed as suggested by P-96-3. Therefore, the State of South Dakota, while administering and enforcing the federal safety standards for pipeline safety, is not enforcing more stringent recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board as they specifically relate to requiring the installation of flow valves on service lines supplying schools, churches, and other places of public assembly.

From: NTSB
To: State of Utah
Date: 10/3/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT ALTHOUGH UTAH DOES NOT HAVE LEGISLATION REQUIRING COMPANIES TO USE EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV'S), THE STATE HAS ADOPTED THE FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS OF 49 CFR 192. ACCORDINGLY, BECAUSE UTAH HAS ADOPTED AND IS ENFORCING 49 CFR PART 192, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Utah
To: NTSB
Date: 8/11/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/16/2000 3:39:25 PM MC# 2001077 THE UTAH DPU IS THE STATE GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY THAT ENFORCES THE NATURAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY STANDARDS IN THE STATE. THE UTAH DPU ACTS UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, OF UTAH (UTAH PSC) AND AS A PARTNER WITH THE FEDERAL OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY (OPS) AND RECEIVES A LITTLE LESS THAN 50 PERCENT FUNDING OF THE PIPELINE SAFETY OPERATIONS FROM THE OPS. THE STATE LEGISLATURE HAS NOT GRANTED THE UTAH PSC NOR THE UTAH DPU ANY AUTHORITY OVER HAZARDOUS LIQUID PIPELINES. THE UTAH PSC HAS ADOPTED THE FEDERAL NATURAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY STANDARDS AS PROMULGATED BY THE OPS. THESE HAVE BECOME THE "LAW" IN THE STATE AND ARE THE SAFETY STANDARDS THAT THE UTAH DPU IS REQUIRED TO ENFORCE. THE STATE HAS NOT SPECIFICALLY ADOPTED ANY SAFETY STANDARDS OR RECOMMENDATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE SAFETY BOARD RELATED TO NATURAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY ISSUES UNLESS THOSE STANDARDS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ARE INCORPORATED IN THE STANDARDS AS SET BY THE OPS. WHILE WE APPRECIATE THE SAFETY BOARD'S INTEREST IN PROMOTING PUBLIC SAFETY, IT IS SOMEWHAT SURPRISING THAT TWO SEPARATE FEDERAL AGENCIES SHOULD BOTH BE RECOMMENDING PIPELINE SAFETY STANDARDS TO BE FOLLOWED BY THE STATES. UTAH DPU PIPELINE SAFETY PERSONNEL REVIEW THE OPERATIONS AND INSPECT THE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS OF THE NATURAL GAS TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES OPERATING IN UTAH. IT HAS FOUND THAT THE COMPANIES ARE GENERALLY SAFETY CONSCIOUS AND DESIROUS TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC. P-96-3 WOULD REQUIRE GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATORS TO INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES IN ALL NEW OR RENEWED GAS SERVICE LINES WHEN APPLICABLE, INCLUDING SERVICE LINES SUPPLYING SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, AND OTHER PLACES OF PUBLIC ASSEMBLY. THE SAFETY RECOMMENDATION IS UNCLEAR ABOUT WHETHER SMALL GAS SYSTEM OPERATORS OR MASTER METERED APARTMENTS WOULD BE AFFECTED. OPS ADDRESSED THE ISSUE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES THROUGH RULE MAKING AFTER NTSB ISSUED P-96-3. THE SAFETY STANDARDS PROMULGATED BY THE OPS (49 CFR 192.383) REQUIRE THE GAS OPERATOR TO NOTIFY CUSTOMERS IN WRITING, WHEN APPLICABLE, OF THE AVAILABILITY OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES WITH AN EXPLANATION OF THE POTENTIAL SAFETY BENEFITS AND THAT THE CUSTOMER WOULD BE REQUIRED TO BEAR THE COST OF INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPLACEMENT. QUESTAR GAS COMPANY, WHICH SERVES ABOUT 95 PERCENT OF THE UTAH CUSTOMERS, HAS INFORMED US THAT THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE INTEREST FROM CUSTOMERS IN INSTALLING EXCESS FLOW VALVES. AN EXCESS FLOW VALVE AUTOMATICALLY SHUTS OFF THE GAS FLOWING THROUGH A PIPELINE IF IT DETECTS THE GAS FLOWING AT AN EXCESSIVE RATE. THE EXCESSIVE FLOW RATE COULD BE CAUSED BY A BREAK IN THE PIPELINE DOWNSTREAM FROM THE EXCESS FLOW VALVE. ONCE THE VALVE HAS BEEN DEPLOYED, IT CANNOT BE RESET. THE VALVE WOULD HAVE TO BE EXCAVATED, CUT OUT OF THE LINE AND REPLACED. WHILE THE CONCEPT OF USING EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS FUNDAMENTALLY SOUND, THERE ARE PROBLEMS IN IMPLEMENTING THE PROCEDURE. THE MAJOR PROBLEMS RELATE TO THE COST OF THE VALVES AND THEIR FUNCTIONALITY. IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH VALVE COSTS APPROXIMATELY $500 INCLUDING INSTALLATION COSTS. THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT COST FOR AN INDIVDUAL CUSTOMER TO BEAR. TO HAVE THE GAS OPERATOR BE REQUIRED TO BEAR THE COST OF INSTALLING A VALVE ON EACH SERVICE LINE WOULD REQUIRE A HUGE INVESTMENT THAT WOULD BE PLACED IN THE RATE BASE OF THE COMPANY AND COLLECTED IN THE RATES CHARGED CUSTOMERS. FOR EXAMPLE, IF QUESTAR GAS CO. WERE REQUIRED TO INSTALL A VALVE FOR EACH CUSTOMER, IT WOULD REQUIRE AN INVESTMENT OF AT LEAST $300,000,000 ($500 X 600,000 CUSTOMERS). THIS WOULD BE AN INCREASE OF MORE THAN 60 PERCENT IN THE COMPANY'S RATE BASE. IT WOULD REQUIRE AN INVESTMENT OF $10,000,000 JUST TO PUT A VALVE IN THE 20,000 NEW CONNECTIONS EACH YEAR. IT IS ALSO OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THE EXCESS FLOW VALVES HAVE A TENDENCY TO BE TRIGGERED BY AN EVENT OTHER THAN A GAS LINE BREAK, SUCH AS A BIG TRUCK DRIVING DOWN THE STREET. THIS WOULD REQUIRE THE REPLACEMENT OF THE VALVE ($500) FOR A NON SAFETY EVENT. IN SUMMARY, THE UTAH DPU BELIEVES THAT OPS HAS CONSIDERED THE COST AND BENEFITS ON THE ISSUE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES AND HAS TAKEN A REASONED AND BALANCED APPROACH. THE UTAH DPU BELIEVES THAT ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS FOR EXCESS FLOW VALVES ARE NOT WARRANTED AT THIS TIME.

From: NTSB
To: State of Utah
Date: 5/28/1997
Response: P-96-3 ASKED THAT THE STATE OF UTAH REQUIRE GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATORS TO INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES IN ALL NEW & RENEWED GAS SERVICE LINES, WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES, INCLUDING SERVICE LINES SUPPLYING SCHOOL, CHURCHES, & OTHER PLACES OF PUBLIC ASSEMBLY. IN THE ABSENCE OF DIRECTION FROM YOUR OFFICE, WE ARE RELUCTANT TO REDIRECT OUR CORRESPONDENCE TO A DIFFERENT AGENCY BECAUSE OF THE RESULTING POTENTIAL FOR UNINTENDED DELAYS IN IMPLEMENTING THIS IMPORTANT RECOMMENDATION. WE ASK THAT YOUR REVIEW THIS MATTER TO DETERMINE THE STATUS OF THE FIRE MARSHAL'S STUDY PROJECT, DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE UTAH AGENCY TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE, & US OF YOUR ACTIONS. PENDING YOUR REVIEW & RESPONSE ON THIS MATTER, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--AWAIT RESPONSE."

From: State of Utah
To: NTSB
Date: 3/13/1997
Response: THE NEW COMMISSIONER OF UTAH DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY (DPS) RESPONDED FOR THE GOVERNOR ADVISING THAT DPS WAS NOT THE CORRECT AGENCY TO ADDRESS EFV USE. HE SUGGESTED THAT THE UTAH DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, DIVISION OF PUBLIC UTILITIES WOULD BE THE PROPER AGENCY TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE.

From: NTSB
To: State of Utah
Date: 2/26/1997
Response: THE BOARD IS ENCOURAGED THAT THE UTAH DPS IS RECEPTIVE TO THE RECOMMEND ACTION. TO FURTHER ASSIST YOUR STATE, SAFETY BOARD STAFF PREPARED AN ENCLOSURE ABOUT THE PROVEN BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. IT PROVIDES INFO EXPLAINING THE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITY, RELIABILITY, & SAFETY BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & IDENTIFIES COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABUT THESE DEVICES. OUR ASSESSMENT OF AVAILABLE INFO IS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES ARE INEXPENSIVE, ARE RELIABLE, & ARE ABLE TO ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY. THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE STATES MUST BECOME ACTIVE PROPONENTS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES BECAUSE GAS CUSTOMERS & THE GENERAL PUBLIC RARELY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE DEVICES & HOW THEIR USE CAN MINIMIZE THE RISKS TO PEOPLE & PROPERTY IN THE EVENT OF A SERVICE LINE RUPTURE. THE BOARD POINTS OUT THAT P-96-3 ASKS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES BE INSTALLED ONLY WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITIH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES. THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS SUPPORTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS & THE GAS SAFETY ACTION COUNCIL, A GAS CONSUMER ADVOCACY GROUP. A NUMBER OF NATIONAL INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE GAS PIPING TECHNICAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE, A BODY THAT MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO GAS OPERATORS ON SAFE OPERATIONS, IS DEVELOPING GUIDANCE ON SLECTING & USING EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE MANUFACTURERS STANDARDZIZATON SOCIETY & THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING & MATERIALS HAVE ISSUED STANDARDS TO ENSURE THE SAFE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. PENDING REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSED MATERIAL & COMPLETION OF THE WORK OF THE WORK OF THE STUDY GROUP, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESONSE." WE BELIEVE THAT THE INFO PROVIDED SHOULD ENCOURAGE THE UTAH DPS EITHER TO REQUIRE THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES OR, AT THE VERY LEAST, TO IMPLEMENT A PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM ENCOURAGING GREATER USE OF THESE SAFETY VALVES. THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE BEING KEPT INFORMED ABOUT YOUR STATE'S ACTIVITIES CONCERNING THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE BOARD STAFF WOULD BE PLEASED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INFO OR TO ASSIST IN ANY WAY REGARDING THIS MATTER.

From: State of Utah
To: NTSB
Date: 4/15/1996
Response: THE UTAH DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY RESPONDED FOR THE GOVERNOR ADVISING THAT THE USE OF EFVS HAS BEEN & IS A VERY CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE. EVEN SO, THE DEPARTMENT'S COMMISSIONER INSTRUCTED THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL'S OFFICE TO CONVENE A STUDY GROUP COMPOSED OF GAS OPERATORS, RELATED STATE AGENCIES, & OTHER INTEREST TO CONDUCT A STUDY ON EXCESS FLOW VALVES & THEIR EFFECTIVENESS. HE STATED THAT THE BOARD WOULD BE KEPT ADVISED OF THE GROUP FINDINGS.

From: NTSB
To: State of Nebraska
Date: 1/12/2001
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT NEBRASKA HAS TAKEN NO ACTION TO REQUIRE GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATORS TO INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV'S). THE BOARD DOES, HOWEVER, NOTE THAT THE STATE HAS ADOPTED THE FEDERAL REGULATIONS AT 49 CFR PART 192 FOR PIPELINE SAFETY AS THE PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS IN NEBRASKA AND IS ALSO PLACING EMPHASIS ON PUBLIC EDUCATION, DAMAGE PREVENTION, EXCAVATOR TRAINING, AND ONE-CALL SYSTEM ENFORCEMENT. ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO STATE REQUIREMENT MANDATING EFV'S, BECAUSE NEBRASKA HAS ADOPTED 49 CFR PART 192 AS ITS STATE PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATION, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Nebraska
To: NTSB
Date: 8/19/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/29/2000 4:34:51 PM MC# 2001176 IN REPLY TO P-96-3, THE STATE OF NEBRASKA HAS TAKEN NO ACTION TO REQUIRE GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATORS TO INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV'S). WE ADOPT THE FEDERAL REGULATIONS, CFR 49, PART 192, FOR PIPELINE SAFETY AS THE PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS IN NEBRASKA. THE FEDERAL OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY WAS MANDATED BY CONGRESS TO DEVELOP RULES FOR EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THEY HAVE NOT REQUIRED GAS OPERATORS TO INSTALL EFV'S. GAS OPERATORS ARE REQUIRED TO OFFER EFV'S TO SINGLE FAMILY HOMES. WE BELIEVE THAT THE FEDERAL OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY HAS TAKEN THE LEAD IN RESEARCH AND AT THIS TIME HAS CONCLUDED THAT EFV'S NEED NOT BE REQUIRED. THERE IS ALWAYS THE CONCERN THAT THE EFV'S WILL GIVE A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY BY NOT CLOSING UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS. MOST NATURAL GAS FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS ARE THE RESULT OF GAS LEAKS IN THE CUSTOMER'S PIPING. EXCESS FLOW VALVES WILL NOT PROTECT AGAINST SMALL LEAKS FROM OCCURRING WITHIN A BUILDING. SOME OPERATORS PLACE THE REGULATOR AT THE PROPERTY LINE, ESPECIALLY AT THE ALLEY. THE PIPE SEGMENT (SERVICE LINE) FROM THE MAIN TO THE REGULATOR IS ONLY 3--5 FEET LONG. THE PIPE SEGMENT FROM THE REGULATOR TO THE CUSTOMER'S (YARD LINE) IS 50 TO 70 FEET LONG AND OPERATES AT ABOUT 4 OUNCES PER SQUARE INCH (OSI) PRESSURE. EFV'S GENERALLY WILL NOT PROTECT AGAINST A BREAK IN THE YARD LINE. SOME OPERATORS HAVE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEMS (4 OSI). AGAIN, THE EFV WILL NOT PROTECT CUSTOMERS IN A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM. INSTEAD OF REQUIRING EFV'S TO BE INSTALLED, OF WHICH THE COST WILL ULTIMATELY BE PASSED ON TO THE CONSUMER, WE BELIEVE THAT MORE EMPHASIS SHOULD BE PLACED ON PUBLIC EDUCATION, DAMAGE PREVENTION, EXCAVATOR TRAINING, AND ONE-CALL SYSTEM ENFORCEMENT. THE STATE OF NEBRASKA IS ALWAYS CONCERNED FOR THE SAFETY OF ITS CITIZENS. WE WILL CONSIDER CHANGING OUR REGULATIONS IF NEW EVIDENCE IS PRESENTED TO SHOW THAT EFV'S WILL SAVE LIVES AND PROPERTY WITHOUT UNDUE COSTS TO THE CUSTOMER.

From: NTSB
To: State of Kansas
Date: 9/28/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD CONVINCED OF THE BENEFITS AND RELIABILITY OF THE REQUIRED EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV'S) AND CONTINUES TO ENCOURAGE KANSAS TO REQUIRE INSTALLATION OF THE DEVICES IN ALL NEW AND RENEWED GAS SERVICE LINES. HOWEVER, THE BOARD IS PLEASED THAT KANSAS IS ADOPTING WITHOUT MODIFICATION THE REQUIREMENTS OF 49 CFR 192.381 AND 192.383 INTO THE KANSAS PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS. THE SAFETY BOARD IS AWARE THAT THESE REGULATIONS REQUIRE GAS UTILITY COMPANIES TO INFORM THEIR CUSTOMERS OF THE AVAILABILITY OF EFV'S AND TO GIVE CUSTOMERS THE OPTION OF ELECTING TO INSTALL THESE DEVICES AT THEIR OWN COST. THE SAFETY BOARD IS ALSO PLEASED THAT THE KCC WILL CONSIDER RECOVERY OF COSTS BY ANY REGULATED UTILITY'S DECISION TO VOLUNTARILY INSTALL EFV'S IN FUTURE RATE CASES. THE SAFETY BOARD IS ALSO PLEASED THAT THE KANSAS GAS SERVICE, WHICH SERVES 67 PERCENT OF THE RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS IN KANSAS, HAS ELECTED TO VOLUNTARILY INSTALL THE EFV'S ON ALL NEW AND REPLACED SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL SERVICES. ACCORDINGLY, BECAUSE KANSAS IS COMMITTED TO ENCOURAGING THE USE OF EFV'S, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Kansas
To: NTSB
Date: 7/14/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 07/17/2000 3:54:18 PM MC# 2000908 IN JULY OF 1999, THE COMMISSION OPENED DOCKET 99-GIN4G-670-GIG TO REVIEW THE MANDATORY INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES IN SINGLE RESIDENTIAL SERVICE LINES. IN THIS DOCKET, THE COMMISSION CONCLUDED THAT REQUIRING INSTALLATION OF EFV'S ON NEW AND REPLACED SERVICE LINES WAS INAPPROPRIATE UNTIL ADDITIONAL OPERATING EXPERIENCE WITH THE DEVICE COULD BE OBTAINED TO DEMOSTRATE THE BENEFITS AND RELIABILITY OF THE EFV. IF DATA GATHERED OVER A TWO YEAR PERIOD DEMONSTRATES THE BENEFITS AND RELIABILITY OF THE DEVICE IN KANSAS OPERATIONS, THE COMMISSION MAY CHOOSE TO INVESTIGATE FURTHER THE POSSIBILITY OF REQUIRED EFV INSTALLATION. THE COMMISSION IS IN THE PROCESS OF ADOPTING WITHOUT MODIFICATION THE REQUIREMENTS OF 49 CFR 192.381 AND 192.383 INTO THE KANSAS PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS. THESE REGULATIONS REQUIRE THE GAS UTILITY COMPANIES TO INFORM THEIR CUSTOMERS OF THE AVAILABILITY OF EFV'S AND TO GIVE THE CUSTOMER THE OPTION OF ELECTING TO INSTALL THE DEVICE AT HIS COST. FURTHERMORE, THE COMMISSION CONCLUDED THAT IF A REGULATED UTILITY ELECTED TO VOLUNTARILY INSTALL EFV'S, RECOVERY OF COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR WOULD BE CONSIDERED IN FUTURE RATE CASES. TO DATE, KANSAS GAS SERVICE, WHICH SERVES 67% OF THE RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS IN KANSAS, HAS ELECTED TO VOLUNTARILY INSTALL THE EFV'S ON ALL NEW AND REPLACED SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL SERVICES.

From: NTSB
To: State of Florida
Date: 1/5/2001
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT THE FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION HAS FOLLOWED UP WITH EVERY GAS COMPANY IN FLORIDA AND THAT THE STATE HAS ADOPTED P-96-3 FOR ALL NEW INSTALLATIONS, AS REQUESTED. ACCORDINGLY, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: State of Florida
To: NTSB
Date: 9/15/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 10/24/2000 5:55:56 PM MC# 2001576 STAFF OF THE FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION HAS FOLLOWED UP WITH EACH AND EVERY GAS COMPANY IN FLORIDA. THE STATE HAS ADOPTED P-96-3 FOR ALL NEW INSTALLATIONS.

From: NTSB
To: State of North Dakota
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of North Dakota had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If North Dakota has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: State of North Dakota
To: NTSB
Date: 7/12/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 07/17/2000 3:56:59 PM MC# 2000909

From: NTSB
To: State of Alaska
Date: 6/19/1997
Response: P-96-3 ASKED THAT ALASKA REQUIRE GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATORS TO INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES IN ALL NEW & RENEWED GAS SERVICE LINES, WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES, INCLUDING SERVICE LINES SUPPLYING SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, & OTHER PLACES OF PUBLIC ASSEMBLY. THE ALASKA DOT HAS INFORMED US THAT THE U.S. DOT RATHER THAN THE STATE HAS SAFETY AUTHORITY OVER GAS SERVICE LINES IN ALASKA. THEREFORE, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--RECONSIDERED."

From: State of Alaska
To: NTSB
Date: 4/15/1997
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR COMMISSIONER, ADVISED THAT NO ALASKAN AGENCY HAS JURISDICTION OVER GAS SERVICE LINES. THAT RESPONSIBILITY RESIDES UNDER THE U.S. DOT BECAUSE THE STATE HAS NOT ENTERED INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE DOT UNDER THE NATURAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY ACT OF 1968.

From: NTSB
To: State of Alaska
Date: 2/26/1997
Response: THE BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT THE STATE OF ALASKA WILL NOT MANDATE THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES UNDER THE CONDITIONS IDENTIFIED IN THE RECOMMENDATION & BELIEVES THAT THE CONCERNS OF THE ALASKA DOL DO NOT ACCURATELY REFLECT THE PERFORMANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. WE ASK FOR A REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSURE PREPARED BY SAFETY BOARD STAFF ABOUT THE PROVEN BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. IT PROVIDES INFO EXPLANING THE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITY, & SAFETY BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & IDENTIFIES COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THESE DEVICES. ALSO, IT ADDRESSES THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST EXCESS FLOW VALVES ADVANCED BY THE ALASKA DOL. OUR ASSESSMENT OF AVAILABLE INFO IS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES ARE INEXPENSIVE, ARE RELIABLE, & ARE ABLE TO ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY. THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE STATES MUST BECOME ACTIVE PROPONENTS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES BECAUSE GAS CUSTOMERS & THE GENERAL PUBLIC RARELY ARE KNOWLEDGELABLE ABOUT THE DEVICES & HOW THEIR USE CAN MINIMIZE THE RISKS TO PEOPLE & PROPERTY IN THE EVENT OF A SERVICE LINE RUPTURE. THE BOARD POINTS OUT THAT P-96-3 ASKS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES BE INSTALLED ONLY WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES. THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS SUPPORTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS & THE GAS SAFETY ACTION COUNCIL, A GAS CONSUMER ADVOCACY GROUP. A NUMBER OF NATIONAL INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE GAS PIPING TECHNICAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE, A BODY THAT MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO GAS OPERATORS ON SAFE OPERATIONS, IS DEVELOPING GUIDANCE ON SELECTING & USING EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE MANUFACTURERS STANDARDIZATION SOCIETY & THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING & MATERIALS HAVE ISSUED STANDARDS TO ENSURE THE SAFE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. PENDING REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSED MATERIAL & RECONSIDERATION OF THE RECOMMENDED ACTION, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." WE BELIEVE THAT THE INFO PROVIDED SHOULD ENCOURAGE THE ALASKA DOL EITHER TO REQUIRE THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES OR, AT THE VERY LEAST, TO IMPLEMENT A PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM ENCOURAGING GREATER USE OF THESE SAFETY VALVES. THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE BEING KEPT INFORMED ABOUT YOUR STATE'S ACTIVITIES CONCERNING THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. SAFETY BOARD STAFF WOULD BE PLEASED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INFO OR TO ASSIST IN ANY WAY REGARDING THIS MATTER.

From: State of Alaska
To: NTSB
Date: 4/4/1996
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, EXPRESSED HIS CONCERNS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY OF EFVS FOR USE IN THE EXTREME COLD OF THE ALASKAN ENVIRONMENT & ABOUT THE RELIABILITY OF EFVS. HE STATED THAT BECAUSE OF THOSE CONCERNS NO ACTION WAS CURRENTLY PLANNED.

From: NTSB
To: State of North Carolina
Date: 6/13/1997
Response: THE BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT NORTH CAROLINA DOES NOT FULLYL APPRECIATE THE SAFETY ADVANTAGES OF USING EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE RESULT IS THAT NORTH CAROLINIANS NOW WILL HAVE TO DEPEND ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR AN OPPORTUNITY TO BENEFIT FROM THE USE OF THE VALVES. THEREFORE, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: State of North Carolina
To: NTSB
Date: 3/13/1997
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH THE STATE UTILITIES COMMISSION, ADVISED THAT THE GOVERNOR, BECAUSE OF HIS CONCERN & COMMITMENT, REVIEWED THE STATE'S PREVIOUS POSITION IN LIGHT OF THE SAFETY BOARD CHAIRMAN'S LETTER. THEY CONSIDERED THE PROFESSIONAL DEBATE ON ALL FACETS OF THE EXCESS FLOW VALVE ISSUE & THE CONGRESSIONAL, ADMINISTRATIVE, & STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTION & INACTION, BUT CONTINUE TO BE PERSUADED THAT A MANDATORY REQUIREMENT IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST AT THIS TIME. CONCERNING THE BOARD'S SUGGESTION THAT THE STATE INITIATE A PUBLIC EDUCATION EFFORT ON THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES, THE STATE BELIEVES IT PRUDENT TO AWAIT THE OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY'S FINAL RULE ON THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES, A RULE THAT THE STATE UNDERSTANDS WILL BE ISSUED IN APRIL 1997. AFTER THE FINAL RULE HAS BEEN REVIEWED, THE STATE WILL DECIDE WHAT, IF ANY, ADDITIONAL ACTION IT SHOULD TAKE.

From: NTSB
To: State of North Carolina
Date: 2/26/1997
Response: THE BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA WILL NOT MANDATE THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES UNDER THE CONDITIONS IDENTIFIED IN RECOMMENDATION & BELIEVES THAT THE CONCERNS OF THE NORTH CAROLINA UTILITIES COMMISSION DO NOT ACCURATELY REFLECT THE PERFORMANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. WE ASK FOR A REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSURE PREPARED BY SAFETY BOARD STAFF ABOUT THE PROVEN BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. IT PROVIDES INFO EXPLANING THE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITY, RELIABILITY, & SAFETY BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & IDENTIFIES COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THESE DEVICES. ALSO, IT ADDRESSES THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST EXCESS FLOW VALVES ADVANCED BY THE NORTH CAROLINA UTILITIES COMMISSION. OUR ASSESSMENT OF AVAILABLE INFO IS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES ARE INEXPENSIVE, ARE RELIABLE, & ARE ABLE TO ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY. THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE STATES BECOME ACTIVE PROPONENTS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES BECAUSE GAS CUSTOMERS & THE GENERAL PUBLIC RARELY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE DEVICE & HOW THEIR USE CAN MINIMIZE THE RISKS TO PEOPLE & PROPERTY IN THE EVENT OF A SEVICE LINE RUPTURE. THE BOARD POINTS OUT THAT P-96-3 ASKS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES BE INSTALLED ONLY WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALL AVAILABLE VALVES. THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS SUPPORTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS & THE GAS SAFETY ACTION COUNCIL, A GAS CONSUMER ADVOCACY GROUP. A NUMBER OF NATIONAL INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE GAS PIPING TECHNICAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE, A BODY THAT MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO GAS OPERATORS ON SAFE OPERATIONS, IS DEVELOPING GUIDANCE ON SLECTING & USING EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE MANUFACTURERS STANDARDIZATION SOCIETY & THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING & MATERIALS HAVE ISSUED STANDARD TO ENSURE THE SAFE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. PENDING REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSE MATERIAL & RECONSIDERATION OF THE RECOMMENDED ACTION, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." WE BELIEVE THAT THE INFO PROVIDED SHOULD ENCOURAGE THE NORTH CAROLINA UTILITIES COMMISSION EITHER TO REQUIRE THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES OR, AT THE VERY LEAST, TO IMPLEMENT A PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM ENCOURAGING GREATER USE OF THESE SAFETY VALVES. THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE BEING KEPT INFORMED ABOUT YOUR STATE'S PROGRESS CONCERNING THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. ALSO, BOARD STAFF WILL BE PLEASED TO PROVIED ADDITIONAL INFO OR TO ASSIST YOU IN ANY WAY REGARDING THIS MATTER.

From: State of North Carolina
To: NTSB
Date: 5/13/1996
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH THE NORTH CAROLINA UTILITIES, ADVISED THAT IT WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE OF EFVS CITING SERVERAL ARGUMENTS FOSTER BY GAS OPERATORS & IT STATED THAT IT MUST ALSO LOOK TO COSTS & PUBLIC ACCPETANCE OF THAT COST. THE COMMISSION THEN CITED A RESOLUTION OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REGULATORY UTILITY COMMISSIONERS WHICH HELD THAT THE USE OF EFVS SHOULD BE LEFT TO THE DECISIONS OF APPROPRIATE STATE REGULATORY AGENCIES. THE LETTER CONCLUDES THAT THE COMMISSION HAS LEFT THE DECISION ON USE OF EFVS IN THE HANDS OF THE GAS OPERATORS AS IT SEES NO REASON TO MANDATE THEIR USE.

From: NTSB
To: State of Oklahoma
Date: 10/29/2001
Response: As mentioned in Mr. Bruehl's letter, the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation declined to promulgate a regulation requiring gas distribution operators to install EFVs in all new or renewed gas service lines, as the Safety Board had recommended. On February 3, 1998, RSPA did, however, publish a final rule that established performance standards for EFVs and requirements that customers be notified of the availability and potential safety benefits derived from the installation of EFVs. Because the Safety Board has accepted that states would not enact a requirement more stringent than the rule promulgated by RSPA, state responses to P-96-3 indicating that they are adopting and enforcing the EFV performance standards and customer notification requirements have been considered an acceptable alternative to the intent of the Board's recommendation. Consequently, Safety Board staff contacted the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and spoke with Ms. Linda Guthrie, of Commissioner Denise Bode's staff, to find out what Oklahoma has done as a result of RSPA's 1998 final rule. The Safety Board learned that while Oklahoma statute prohibits enacting a regulation that is more stringent than federal regulations, and while Oklahoma has not enacted a state requirement mandating EFVs, it has adopted and enforced the federal regulations in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 191, 192, 193 and 199, which pertain to the performance standards of EFVs and the customer notification requirements. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 for the State of Oklahoma is classified "Closed--Acceptable Alternate Action."

From: State of Oklahoma
To: NTSB
Date: 8/9/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/16/2001 3:04:34 PM MC# 2010656 Thank you for your recent letter of inquiry relative to Oklahoma's implementation of Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Oklahoma statutes specifically prohibit agencies in the State of Oklahoma from promulgating rules that are more stringent than those of the federal government. Because the Research and Special Programs Administration has declined to promulgate a regulation to effectuate P-96-3 and has instead instituted a regulation whereby excess flow valves are mandatory under only certain conditions, the State of Oklahoma cannot require anything further.

From: NTSB
To: State of Oklahoma
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Oklahoma had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If New York has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of Montana
Date: 1/5/2001
Response: The Safety Board notes that the Montana Public Service Commission, the state regulatory agency for gas pipeline safety in Montana, has adopted all Federal gas pipeline safety regulations, 49 Code of Federal Regulations 191 and 192 in their entirety; these regulations address the performance standards of excess flow valves (EFVs) and the customer notification requirements. Mr. Fisher indicates that Montana has no regulation either more or less stringent than the Federal regulations, and therefore does not require EFVs on new or renewed gas service lines as Safety Recommendation P-96-3 requests. Although Montana has not enacted a State requirement mandating EFVs, it has provided a viable alternative by adopting and enforcing the Federal regulations. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified “Closed—Acceptable Alternate Action.”

From: State of Montana
To: NTSB
Date: 10/31/2000
Response: MC2001627. The Montana Public Service Commission has adopted Title 49, CFR, Parts 191 and 192 in their entirety. Montana does not have anything more or less stringent than the Federal Code. Therefore, excess flow valves are not required on all new or renewed gas service lines as recommended by P?96?3..

From: NTSB
To: State of Missouri
Date: 9/13/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS CONVINCED OF THE BENEFITS AND RELIABILITY OF THE REQUIRED EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV'S) AND CONTINUES TO ENCOURAGE MISSOURI TO REQUIRE INSTALLATION OF THE DEVICES IN ALL NEW AND RENEWED GAS SERVICE LINES. HOWEVER, THE BOARD IS PLEASED THAT MISSOURI HAS ADOPTED WITHOUT MODIFICATION THE REQUIREMENTS OF 49 CFR 192.383 INTO THE MISSOURI PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS. THE SAFETY BOARD IS AWARE THAT THESE REGULATIONS REQUIRE GAS UTILITY COMPANIES TO INFORM THEIR CUSTOMERS OF THE AVAILABILITY OF EFV'S AND TO GIVE CUSTOMERS THE OPTION OF ELECTING TO INSTALL THESE DEVICES AT THEIR OWN COST. THE SAFETY BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT THE MOPSC, WHILE NOT REQUIRING THE INSTALLATION OF EFV'S IN ALL NEW OR RENEWED GAS SERVICE LINES, WHEN OPERATION CONDITIONS ARE COMPARABLE WITH THOSE PRODUCED COMMERCIALLY BY AVAILABLE VALVES, IS NONETHELESS DILIGENTLY REVIEWING THE RECORDS AND PRACTICES OF ITS REGULATED NATURAL GAS OPERATORS DURING NORMAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY INSPECTIONS TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICATION RULES AND REGULATIONS, INCLUDING THE PROVISIONS OF PART 192.383. ACCORDINGLY, BECAUSE MOPSC INDICATES IT WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR ITS JURISDICTIONAL NATURAL GAS OPERATORS FOR COMPLIANCE TO THE EFV NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AS CONTAINED IN 49 CFR, PART 192.383, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Missouri
To: NTSB
Date: 7/26/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/01/2000 2:57:03 PM MC# 2000981 THE MISSOURI PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (MOPSC) STAFF HAS CLOSELY MONITORED THE U.S. DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION/RESEARCH AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION (DOT/RSPA) RULEMAKING ADDRESSING EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV), BEGINNING WITH THE ADVANCED NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING IN 1990. IN JULY OF 1993, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE MOPSC SUBMITTED EXTENSIVE COMMENTS TO THE DOT/RSPA NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING (NPRM) ON EFV (DOCKET NO. PS-1 18- NOTICE 2) THAT WAS ISSUED IN APRIL OF 1993. THE FORMAL RULEMAKING PROCESS CONTINUED FOR SEVERAL YEARS, UNTIL FEBRUARY OF 1998, WHEN A FINAL RULE ON EFV BECAME EFFECTIVE (49 CFR 192.383). THIS EFV REGULATION REQUIRES THAT AFTER 2/2/99, OPERATORS OF NATURAL GAS SYSTEMS MUST NOTIFY EACH CUSTOMER, WHEN A NEW SERVICE LINE IS INSTALLED OR SERVICE LINE IS REPLACED, OF THE AVAILABILITY OF EFV. AFTER THE NOTIFICATION, IF THE CUSTOMER REQUESTS, AN EFV WILL BE INSTALLED. THE CUSTOMER IS GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONSIDER FOR THEMSELVES THE PRESENT COSTS, POSSIBLE FUTURE COSTS, AND BENEFITS OF INSTALLATION OF AN EFV ON THEIR SERVICE LINE. THERE ARE CERTAIN CRITERIA ND EXCEPTIONS GIVEN IN THE REGULATION SPECIFYING WHEN THE CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION IS REQUIRED. THE FINAL RULE COMPLIES WITH THE CONGRESSIONAL MANDATE CONTAINED IN THE PIPELINE SAFETY ACT OF 1992. THE ACT REQUIRED THAT DOT/RSPA PROMULGATE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBING THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IF ANY, UNDER WHICH OPERATORS OF NATURAL GAS DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS MUST INSTALL EFV. DOT/RSPA WAS TO CONSIDER SEVERAL RELEVANT FACTORS IN MAKING ITS DETERMINATION. THE FORMAL DOT/RSPA RULEMAKING PROCESS CONSIDERED THOSE FACTORS BY SOLICITING COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED REGULATION FROM AFFECTED PARTIES IN THE RULEMAKING DOCKET. IN ADDITION, A COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS WAS CONDUCTED ON THE RULEMAKING PROVISIONS. THIS FORMAL RULEMAKING PROCESS ULTIMATELY RESULTED IN A REGULATION THAT REQUIRED NOTIFICATION OF CUSTOMERS, AND DID NOT JUSTIFY A REQUIREMENT TO INSTALL EFV IN SERVICE LINES. THE MOPSC STAFF DILIGENTLY REVIEWS THE RECORDS AND PRACTICES OF OUR REGULATED NATURAL GAS OPERATORS DURING OUR ANNUAL GAS PIPELINE SAFETY INSPECTIONS TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICATION RULES AND REGULATIONS, INCLUDING THE PROVISIONS OF PART 192.383. IN ADDITION, ALL THE INVESTOR-OWNED NATURAL GAS OPERATORS HAVE FILED AND RECEIVED APPROVAL OF TARIFFS WHICH SPECIFY THE AVAILABILITY, CIRCUMSTANCES AND INSTALLATION COSTS OF EFV ON THE GAS COMPANY'S SYSTEM. THE MOPSC HAS NOT REQUIRED NATURAL GAS DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATORS TO INSTALL EFV "..IN ALL NEW OR RENEWED GAS SERVICE LINES, WHEN OPERATION CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES, INCLUDING SERVICE LINES SUPPLYING SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, AND OTHER PLACES OF PUBLIC ASSEMBLY", AS RECOMMENDED IN P-96-3. AT THIS TIME, THE MOSPC IS NOT PLANNING TO ADOPT EFV REGULATIONS THAT ARE MORE STRINGENT THAN THE FEDERAL PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN PART 192.383 WHICH REQUIRE INSTALLATION OF EFV. OUR STAFF WILL CONTINUE TO CLOSELY MONITOR OUR JURISDICTIONAL NATURAL GAS OPERATORS FOR COMPLIANCE TO THE EFV NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AS CONTAINED IN PART 192.383.

From: NTSB
To: State of New Hampshire
Date: 11/13/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION (PUC) HAS SAFETY JURISDICTION OVER ALL PRIVATE GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATORS IN THE STATE, AND ALTHOUGH THE PUC DOES NOT MANDATE THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV'S), THE OPERATORS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE HAVE BEEN INSTALLING EFV'S FOR DECADES WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH THEIR EFV'S. IN ADDITION, THE SAFETY BOARD STAFF, IN DISCUSSIONS WITH MR. MARINI'S OFFICE, LEARNED THAT THE PUC HAS ADOPTED 49 CFR 192.381 AND 192.383, WHICH ADDRESS THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS OF EFV'S AND THE CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. BECAUSE NEW HAMPSHIRE HAS ADOPTED 49 CFR PART 192, AND BECAUSE THE TWO PRIMARY SERVICE PROVIDERS IN THE STATE MAKE THEM AVAILABLE TO THEIR CUSTOMERS FOR PURCHASE AND ARE INCLUDING THEM IN THE INSTALLATION OF NEW SERVICE LINES, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of New Hampshire
To: NTSB
Date: 9/7/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 09/14/2000 3:55:49 PM MC# 2001285 THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION (PUC) IS RESPONDING TO YOUR 7/5/00, LETTER TO THE HONORABLE JEANNE SHAHEEN, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE CONCERNING THE NTSB'S SAFETY RECOMMENDATION P-96-3. THE PUC HAS SAFETY JURISDICTION OVER ALL PRIVATE GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATORS IN THE STATE. NTSB HAS PREVIOUSLY RECOMMENDED THAT ALL STATES MANDATE NATURAL GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATORS TO INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV'S) IN ALL NEW OR RENEWED SERVICE LINES WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES, INCLUDING SERVICE LINES SUPPLYING SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, AND OTHER PLACES OF PUBLIC ASSEMBLY. AS YOU KNOW, WHEN THIS RECOMMENDATION WAS INITIALLY PROPOSED, AND CONTINUING AFTER ITS ADOPTION BY THE NTSB, MANY STATES QUESTIONED THE APPROPRIATENESS OF THE RECOMMENDATION ON MANY GROUNDS. AS A MATTER OF FACT, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REGULATORY UTILITY COMMISSIONERS ADOPTED A RESOLUTION AT IT'S SUMMER MEETING IN 1993 THAT CONCLUDED: "..THAT THE SYSTEM--WIDE USE OF EFV'S BY LOCAL DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES SHOULD NOT BE MANDATED BY FEDERAL RULE MAKING, BUT SHOULD BE AT THE DISCRETION AND JUDGEMENT OF THE OPERATORS AND THE INDIVIDUAL STATE AGENCIES.." ALTHOUGH THE PUC DOES NOT MANDATE THE USE OF EFV'S, THE OPERATORS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE HAVE BEEN INSTALLING EFV'S FOR DECADES WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH THEIR EFV'S. THE PUC HAS ALWAYS HAD A STRONG COMMITMENT TO SAFETY AND THIS WAS REFLECTED BY IT'S PERFORMANCE EVALUATION BY THE US DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION, OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY IN A RECENT INSPECTION WHICH STATED: "..THIS TYPE OF EVALUATION IS RESERVED ONLY FOR THE TOP PERFORMING STATE PIPELINE SAFETY PROGRAMS.

From: NTSB
To: State of West Virginia
Date: 1/9/2001
Response: The Safety Board notes that the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, the State regulatory agency for gas pipeline safety in West Virginia, is in agreement with the recommendation, and that although there is no State regulation, the Public Service Commission has adopted and is applying the requirements as set forth in 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 192.381 for the installation of the EFVs. Although West Virginia has not enacted a State requirement mandating EFVs, it has provided a viable alternative by adopting and enforcing the Federal regulations at Title 49 CFR Part 192. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P?96?3 is classified “Closed—Acceptable Alternate Action.”

From: State of West Virginia
To: NTSB
Date: 10/26/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 10/30/2000 1:45:18 PM MC# 2001609 This is in response to your letter of July 5, 2000 to Governor Underwood. Please be advised that the Commission’s Pipeline Safety staff has advised me that we are in agreement with the recommendation and have adopted and apply the requirements as set forth in 49 CFR, Part 192.381, for the installation of the excess flow valves.

From: NTSB
To: State of Rhode Island
Date: 10/24/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS CONVINCED OF THE BENEFITS AND RELIABILITY OF THE REQUIRED EFV'S. WHILE RHODE ISLAND HAS NO STATE LEGISLATION REQUIRING COMPANIES TO USE EFV'S, WE ARE PLEASED TO LEARN THAT ALL OPERATORS IN RHODE ISLAND (PROVIDENCE GAS, BRISTOL WARREN & VALLEY GAS) VOLUNTARILY INSTALL EFV'S ON THEIR OWN. BECAUSE BY PRACTICE EFV'S ARE BEING INSTALLED, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--RECONSIDERED."

From: State of Rhode Island
To: NTSB
Date: 7/31/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/02/2000 3:58:29 PM MC# 2000996 THERE IS NO STATE LEGISLATION THAT REQUIRES COMPANIES TO USE EXCESS FLOW VALVES. ALL OPERATORS IN RI (PROVIDENCE GAS, BRISTOL WARREN & VALLEY GAS) VOLUNTARILY INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES ON THEIR OWN AS A COMMON SENSE AND SAFETY SENSE ISSUE. EVERY SITUATION THAT WARRANTS THESE VALVES IS PUT IN AS GOOD BUSINESS SENSE.

From: NTSB
To: State of Louisiana
Date: 11/26/2001
Response: The Safety Board understands that, although the State of Louisiana has not followed the recommendation in P-96-3 to require operators to install EFVs, Louisiana has adopted the pipeline safety standards issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 192.381 concerning EFV performance standards pertaining to minimum gas pipeline safety, effective July 1998, and that 49 CFR Part 192.381, which concerns EFV customer notification will be adopted shortly. The Board further notes that the Louisiana Pipeline Safety Section has been enforcing 49 CFR Part 192.383 since February 23, 1999, in compliance with the federal regulation. Although Louisiana has not enacted a state requirement mandating EFVs, it has provided a viable alternative by adopting and enforcing the federal regulations at 49 CFR Part 192. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Alternate Action."

From: State of Louisiana
To: NTSB
Date: 8/8/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/16/2001 12:37:19 PM MC# 2010651 The State of Louisiana has adopted the federal regulation" 192.381 Service lines: Excess flow valves performance standards" pertaining to minimum gas pipeline safety, effective July, 1998. The federal regulation "192.381 Excess flow valve customer notification" is currently in the adoption process with anticipated adoption in September of 2001. However, our Louisiana Pipeline Safety Section has been enforcing 192.383 since February 23, 1999, as per the federal regulations. The federal and state requirements with respect to excess flow valve installation are voluntary and not mandatory. Our prior experience regarding distribution gas facilities does not indicate a need to require installation of excess flow valves in new or replaced service lines. Therefore, no further action will be taken in this matter at the state level. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

From: NTSB
To: State of Louisiana
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Louisiana had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If Louisiana has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of Vermont
Date: 9/28/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES, THAT WHILE VERMONT DOES NOT HAVE STATE LEGISLATION REQUIRING THAT COMPANIES USE EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV'S), THE SATE'S DEPT. OF PUBLIC SERVICE ENCOURAGES THE USE OF EFV'S ON NEW AND REPLACEMENT SERVICES WHERE IT IS FEASIBLE AND WHERE IT WILL ENSURE A SAFER INSTALLATION. FURTHER, BECAUSE VERMONT GAS SYSTEMS, INC., VERMONT'S ONLY NATURAL GAS UTILITY, HAS AN EFV INSTALLATION PROGRAM, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Vermont
To: NTSB
Date: 8/4/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/11/2000 3:38:12 PM MC# 2001049 OUR GAS ENGINEER, KEN WOOD, HOLDS MEMBERSHIP IN BOTH THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PIPELINE SAFETY REPRESENTATIVES AND THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REGULATORY COMMISSIONERS STAFF SUBCOMMITTEE ON PIPELINE SAFETY. THE DEPT. OF PUBLIC SERVICE, THROUGH KEN, HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THE ISSUE OF THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. WE ARE AWARE OF THE RESULTS OF THE COST BENEFIT STUDIES ON THE USE OF THE VALVES AND OF THE SAFETY BOARD'S RECOMMENDATION. THE DEPARTMENT ENCOURAGES THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES ON NEW AND REPLACEMENT SERVICES WHERE IT IS FEASIBLE AND WHERE IT WILL ENSURE A SAFER INSTALLATION. VERMONT GAS SYSTEMS, INC., VERMONT'S ONLY NATURAL GAS UTILITY, HAS AN EXCESS FLOW VALVE INSTALLATION PROGRAM.

From: NTSB
To: State of Arizona
Date: 11/26/2001
Response: The Safety Board notes that although Arizona has not required operators to install EFV's, the Arizona Corporation Commission's Office of Pipeline Safety, in 1997, adopted Amendment Number 80 to Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 192, as part of the state's pipeline safety regulations, and has continued to adopt subsequent amendments to 49 CFR 192.383 as Arizona's requirements for the installation of EFVs. Although Arizona has not enacted a State mandate concerning EFVs, the state's action constitutes a viable alternative. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Alternate Action."

From: State of Arizona
To: NTSB
Date: 8/21/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/29/2001 4:25:56 PM MC# 2010697 When the National Transportation Board issued Safety Recommendation P-96-3 in regards to Excess Flow Valves, this agency researched its pipeline incident tiles and concluded that none of the incidents recorded for the twelve years proceeding 1996 would have been prevented or lessened in degree, had excess flow valves been installed. Since 1996 through the present, we have continued to evaluate each incident to determine if an excess flow valves would have prevented the incident. Having conducted the past evaluation and the continued evaluation of incidents, there is no supporting evidence for the mandating by state regulation the installation of excess flow valves in gas service lines to customers. In September 1997, the Commission adopted Amendment Number 80 to Part 192 as part of our State Pipeline Safety Regulations and have continued to adopt the amendments to Part 192.383 as our requirements for the installation of excess flow valves.

From: NTSB
To: State of Arizona
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Arizona had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If Arizona has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of Tennessee
Date: 11/14/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS CONVINCED OF THE BENEFITS AND RELIABILITY OF THE REQUIRED EFV'S, AND IS DISAPPOINTED TO LEARN THAT TENNESSEE HAS NO STATE LEGISLATION REQUIRING COMPANIES TO USE EFV'S. HOWEVER, TENNESSEE REPORTS THAT ALL SYSTEMS ARE MAKING EFV'S AVAILABLE TO THEIR CUSTOMERS FOR PURCHASE OR ARE INCLUDING THEM IN THE INSTALLATION OF ALL NEW SERVICE LINES. THE SAFETY BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT RECENT MODIFICATIONS TO THE TENNESSEE UNDERGROUND DAMAGE PREVENTION LAW AND TENNESSEE'S PARTICIPATION IN THE FEDERAL OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY'S "DIG SAFELY" PILOT PROGRAM ARE FURTHER EVIDENCE OF TENNESSEE'S COMMITMENT TO SAFETY. ALTHOUGH TENNESSEE DOES NOT REQUIRE EFV'S, BECAUSE THE STATE IS COMMITTED TO ENCOURAGING THE USE OF EFV'S, AND BECAUSE THESE VALVES ARE IN FACT BEING INSTALLED, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Tennessee
To: NTSB
Date: 8/18/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/23/2000 3:16:40 PM MC# 2001131 WHEN THIS RECOMMENDATION WAS INITIALLY PROPOSED, AND CONTINUING AFTER ITS ADOPTION BY THE NTSB, MANY STATES QUESTIONED THE APPROPRIATENESS OF THE RECOMMENDATION ON MANY GROUNDS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE EFV'S. WE HAVE RECENTLY LEARNED THAT THE NTSB NO LONGER LISTS EFV'S ON THE LIST OF "MOST WANTED TRANSPORTATION SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS." IN FACT, AS CONCERNING THIS ISSUE, IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THE NTSB CURRENTLY ENCOURAGES EDUCATION AND TRAINING RELATED TO DAMAGE PREVENTION INSTEAD. THE STATE OF TENNESSEE IS FULLY COMMITTED TO LIMITING THE LOSS OF LIFE, INJURY, AND PROPERTY DAMAGE DUE TO GAS LEAKAGE CAUSED BY PIPELINE OR SERVICE LINE DAMAGE. WITH THIS COMMITMENT IN MIND, IN JULY OF THIS YEAR, THE TRA CONDUCTED A STATEWIDE SURVEY REGARDING THE PERFORMANCE AND USE OF EFV'S IN NATURAL GAS PIPELINE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS. THE RESULTS FROM THE SURVEY INDICATED THAT ALL SYSTEMS ARE MAKING AVAILABLE TO THEIR CUSTOMERS EFV'S FOR PURCHASE OR INCLUDING THEM IN THE INSTALLATION OF ALL NEW SERVICE LINES. FURTHERMORE, DURING THEIR INSPECTIONS, OUR GAS PIPELINE SAFETY ENGINEERS HAVE FOUND FULL COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 192.383: EXCESS FLOW VALVE CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS OF THE MINIMUM FEDERAL SAFETY STANDARDS (NFSS). IN FACT, THE TRA HAS ONLY CITED ONE OPERATOR FOR NON-COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 192.383 OF THE NWSS SINCE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REGULATION. FINALLY, RECENT MODIFICATIONS TO THE "TENNESSEE UNDERGROUND DAMAGE PREVENTION LAW" AND TENNESSEE'S PARTICIPATION IN THE FEDERAL OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY'S "DIG SAFELY" PILOT PROGRAM FURTHER EVIDENCES TENNESSEE'S COMMITMENT TO SAFETY. THESE POSITIVE ACTIONS AND A CONCERTED FOCUS TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC AND EXCAVATING COMMUNITY ON DAMAGE PREVENTION ARE, WE HAVE DISCOVERED, EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE MEANS OF ENSURING THE SAFETY OF OUR CITIZENS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO REVIEW AND MONITOR YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS AND "MOST WANTED TRANSPORTATION SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS" LIST AND ACT ACCORDINGLY. WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT DAMAGE PREVENTION IS A BETTER SAFETY FOCUS TO PROTECTING THE PUBLIC THAN THE MANDATED INSTALLATION OF THESE DEVICES. PREVENTING DAMAGE THROUGH EDUCATION AND AWARENESS PROGRAMS ON THE LOCATION OF UNDERGROUND FACILITIES IS A MORE EFFECTIVE APPROACH IN PREVENTING DAMAGES, ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES FROM OCCURRING. THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT ON YOUR RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: State of Idaho
Date: 10/19/2000
Response: BECAUSE IDAHO DOES NOT HAVE A STATE-RUN PIPELINE SAFETY PROGRAM AND PIPELINE SAFETY ENFORCEMENT IS PROVIDED BY THE U.S. DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION'S OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY, P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--RECONSIDERED." THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT THE REGULATED LOCAL DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES IN IDAHO PROVIDE NOTIFICATION TO NEW CUSTOMERS, AND IF THEY CHOOSE TO HAVE AN EXCESS FLOW VALVE INSTALLED, IT IS DONE AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE.

From: State of Idaho
To: NTSB
Date: 7/31/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/09/2000 5:18:54 PM MC# 2001036 IDAHO DOES NOT HAVE A STATE RUN PIPELINE SAFETY PROGRAM. PIPELINE SAFETY ENFORCEMENT IS PROVIDED BY THE U.S. DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION, OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY. THE REGULATED LOCAL DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES IN IDAHO PROVIDE NOTIFICATION TO NEW CUSTOMERS. IF THEY CHOOSE TO HAVE AN EXCESS FLOW VALVE (EFV) INSTALLED, IT IS AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE. FUTURE MAINTENANCE IS ALSO THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CUSTOMER.

From: NTSB
To: State of Alabama
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: BECAUSE THE SAFETY BOARD HAS RECEIVED NO FURTHER REPLY FROM THE STATE OF ALABAMA, P-96-3 IS NOW CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION." IF THE STATE OF ALABAMA HAS COMPLETED ANY ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS RECOMMENDATION OR INITIATES SUCH ACTION AND INFORMS THE BOARD TO THAT EFFECT, THE BOARD WILL EVALUATE THE ACTION AND MAY RECONSIDER THE CLASSIFICATION OF THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: State of Alabama
To: NTSB
Date: 8/15/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 09/05/2000 8:01:54 AM MC# 2001113

From: NTSB
To: State of Alabama
Date: 6/27/2000
Response: ON 2/26/97, P-96-3 WAS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE," BASED ON INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE SAFETY BOARD IN A LETTER FROM THE STATE OF ALABAMA DATED 4/10/97. TO DATE THERE HAS BEEN NO FURTHER RESPONSE TO THE BOARD REGARDING P-96-3. THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING WHAT ACTION YOUR STATE HAS TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: State of Alabama
Date: 2/26/1997
Response: THE BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT THE STATE OF ALABAMA WILL NOT MANDATE THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVELS UNDER THE CONDITIONS IDENTIFIED IN THE RECOMMENDATION & BELIEVES THAT THE CONCERNS OF THE ALABAMA PSC DO NOT ACCURATELY REFLECT THE PERFORMANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. WE ASK FOR A REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSURE PREPARED BY THE SAFETY BOARD ABOUT THE PROVEN BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. IT PROVIDES INFO EXPLANING THE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITY, RELIABILITY, & SAFETY BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & IDENTIFIES COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THESE DEVICES. ALSO, IT ADDRESSES THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST EXCESS FLOW VALVES ADVANCED BY THE ALABAMA PSC. OUR ASSESSMENT OF AVAILABLE INFO IS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES ARE INEXPENSIVE, ARE RELIABLE, & ARE ABLE TO ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY. THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE STATES MUST BECOME ACTIVE PROPONENTS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES BECAUSE GAS CUSTOMERS & THE GENERAL PUBLIC RARELY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE DEVICES & HOW THEIR USE CAN MINIMIZE THE RISKS TO PEOPLE & PROPERTY IN THE EVENT OF A SERVICE LINE RUPTURE. THE BOARD POINTS OUT THAT P-96-3 ASKS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES BE INSTALLED ONLY WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES. THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS SUPPORTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS & THE GAS SAFETY ACTION COUNCIL, A GAS CONSUMER ADVOCACY GROUP. A NUMBER OF NATIONAL INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE GAS PIPING TECHNICAL STANDARD COMMITTEE, A BODY THAT MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO GAS OPERATORS ON SAFE OPERATIONS, IS DEVELOPING GUIDANCE ON SELECTING & USING EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE MANUFACTURERS STANDARDIZATION SOCIETY & THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING & MATERIALS HAVE ISSUED STANDARDS TO ENSURE THE SAFE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. PENDING REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSED MATERIAL & RECONSIDERATION OF THE RECOMMENDED ACTION. P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." WE BELIEVE THAT THE INFO PROVIDED SHOULD ENCOURAGE THE ALABAMA PSC EITHER TO REQUIRE THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES OR, AT THE VERY LEAST, TO IMPLEMENT A PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM ENCOURAGING GREATER USE OF THESE SAFETY VALVES. THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE BEING KEPT INFORMED ABOUT YOUR STATE'S ACTIVITIES CONCERNING THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. SAFETY BOARD STAFF WOULD BE PLEASED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INF OR TO ASSIST IN ANY WAY REGARDING THIS MATTER.

From: State of Alabama
To: NTSB
Date: 4/10/1996
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH THE ALABAMA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, CITED NUMEROUS ARGUMENTS RECEIVED FROM ALABAMA GAS OPERATORS AGAINST REQUIRING THE INSTALLATION OF EFVS. ALSO, THE ALABAMA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION CITED STATEMENTS OF THE AMERICAN GAS ASSOCIATION & THE OF THE GAS RESEARCH INSTITUTE AS TO WHY EFVS SHOULD NOT BE MANDATED. FINALLY, IT CITED ITS RECENTLY PASSED LEGISLATION ON EXCAVATION DAMAGE PREVENTION STATED THAT EFFORT WOULD PREVENT THE TYPES OF ACCIDENTS IN WHICH EFVS COULD BE EFFECTIVE FOR MINIMIZING CONSEQUENCES. THE ALABAMA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION ADVISED THAT IT COULD NOT, AT THIS TIME, SUPPORT OF THE BOARD'S RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: State of New York
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of New York had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If New York has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of Georgia
Date: 10/3/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD NOTES THAT THE PIPELINE SAFETY SECTION OF THE GEORGIA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, HAS ADOPTED AND ENFORCES TITLE 49 CFR SECTIONS 192.381 AND 192.383 WHICH ADDRESS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS AND CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION, RESPECTIVELY. ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO STATE REQUIREMENT MANDATING EFV'S, GEORGIA HAS ADOPTED AND IS INFORCING TITLE 49 CFR PART 192. THEREFORE, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Georgia
To: NTSB
Date: 8/7/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/15/2000 1:42:42 PM MC# 2001071 THE GPSC IS THE PROPER AGENCY TO CONTACT REGARDING NATURAL GAS INTRASTATE PIPELINE SAFETY MATTERS. IN THE FUTURE, PLEASE SEND ALL SUCH INQUIRIES TO THE GPSC AT 47 TRINITY AVENUE, S.W., ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30334. ENCLOSED YOU WILL FIND COPIES OF CFR SECTIONS 192.381 AND 192.383 AS ADOPTED AND CURRENTLY ENFORCED BY OUR PIPELINE SAFETY SECTION. IF WE CAN BE OF FURTHER ASSISTANCE, PLEASE LET US KNOW.

From: NTSB
To: State of Oregon
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Oregon had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If Oregon has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of Michigan
Date: 10/3/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS PLEASED TO LEARN THAT MICHIGAN HAS ADOPTED THE FEDERAL PIPELINE SAFETY STANDARDS TITLE 49 CFR 192.381, WHICH ADDRESSES PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR EXCESS FLOW VALVES (EFV'S), AND TITLE 49 CFR 192.383, WHICH REQUIRES (1) THE NOTIFICATION OF CUSTOMERS REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY OF EFV'S AND (2) OPERATOR INSTALLATION OF EFV'S IF THE CUSTOMER REQUESTS THAT A VALVE BE INSTALLED. THE BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT MOST OPERATORS IN THE STATE ARE INSTALLING EFV'S ON THE SERVICE LINES IN QUESTION BECAUSE IT IS LESS COSTLY THAN COMPLYING WITH THE NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. ALTHOUGH MICHIGAN HAS NO STATE REQUIREMENT MANDATING EFV'S, BECAUSE THE STATE HAS ADOPTED TITLE 49 CFR PART 192.381 AND 192.383, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of Michigan
To: NTSB
Date: 8/8/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/11/2000 3:36:14 PM MC# 2001048 MICHIGAN'S GAS PIPELINE SAFETY PROGRAM IS ADMINISTERED BY THE MICHIGAN PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION. THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION HAS ADOPTED THE FEDERAL PIPELINE SAFETY STANDARDS 49 CFR 192.381 AND 192.383, WHICH WERE ADDITIONAL SAFETY STANDARDS ADOPTED TO ADDRESS SIMILAR SAFETY BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE RESEARCH AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION AND RELATED CONGRESSIONAL REQUIREMENTS. STANDARD 192.381 ADDRESSES PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR EXCESS FLOW VALVES, AND STANDARD 192.383 REQUIRES THE NOTIFICATION OF CUSTOMERS REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES AND REQUIRES THE OPERATOR TO INSTALL EXCESS FLOW VALVES IF THE CUSTOMER REQUESTS A VALVE BE INSTALLED. MOST OPERATORS IN MICHIGAN ARE INSTALLING EXCESS FLOW VALVES ON THE SERVICE LINES IN QUESTION BECAUSE IT IS LESS COSTLY THAN COMPLYING WITH THE NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. MICHIGAN HAS APPROXIMATELY 3,000,000 NATURAL GAS CUSTOMERS, AND UTILITIES ADD ABOUT 50,000 CUSTOMER PER YEAR. OPERATORS THAT ADOPTED A POLICY OF INSTALLING EXCESS FLOW VALVES REPRESENT UTILITIES SERVING OVER 95 PERCENT OF OUR STATE'S NATURAL GAS CUSTOMERS. IF YOU HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS ISSUE, PLEASE DIRECT THEM TO MICHAEL KIDD, DIRECTOR OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION'S GAS DIVISION. HE CAN BE REACHED AT 517-241-6131.

From: NTSB
To: State of Minnesota
Date: 12/10/2001
Response: The Safety Board notes that although Minnesota has not followed the recommendation in P-96-3 to require operators to install excess flow valves (EFVs), Minnesota has taken action which mirrors the Federal pipeline safety standards at Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 192. Specifically, the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety has encouraged, but not mandated, the use of EFVs where practical. Reportedly, a review of the state's largest utilities, which supply gas to over 80 percent of Minnesota's customers, indicates that the industry is doing this voluntarily, where practical, on all new and renewed services for single residences. Commercial customers are also having valves installed, depending on the gas demand and service line size, and the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety will continue to encourage smaller customers and municipals to do the same as part of their damage prevention education. The Safety Board understands that the development of an industry standard was delayed, and adoption of federal rules requiring notification of residential customers regarding EFV availability was not required until February 3, 1999; the Board further understands that Minnesota regulations incorporate these same notification procedures and performance standards in its state pipeline safety code. Finally, Minnesota will continue to evaluate the utilities' customer notification and voluntary installation procedures in this area as part of the state's ongoing safety inspection and damage prevention efforts. Although Minnesota has not enacted a state requirement mandating EFVs, the state has provided a viable alternative by adopting and enforcing standards similar to those of the Federal regulations at Title 49 CFR Part 192. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 to Minnesota is classified "Closed--Acceptable Alternate Action."

From: State of Minnesota
To: NTSB
Date: 9/7/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 09/17/2001 3:55:24 PM MC# 2010737 The state's Office of Pipeline Safety has encouraged, but not mandated, the use of excess flow valves where practical. A review of the state's largest utilities that supply over 80% of the customers indicate the industry is doing this voluntarily where practical on all new and renewed services for single residences. Commercial customers are also having valves installed depending on the gas demand and service line size. The Office of Pipeline Safety continues to encourage smaller customers and municipals to do the same as part of their damage prevention education. The delayed development of an industry standard and adoption of federal rules requiring notification of EFV to residential customers was not required until February 3, 1999. Minnesota regulations incorporate these same notification procedures and performance standards in its state pipeline safety code. Therefore, we continue to evaluate the utilities customer notification and voluntary installation procedures in this area as part of our ongoing safety inspection and damage prevention efforts.

From: NTSB
To: State of Minnesota
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: On July 5, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on action the state of Minnesota had taken or intended to take to implement Safety Recommendation P-96-3. Because the Safety Board has received no reply, Safety Recommendation P-96-3 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." If Minnesota has completed any action in response to this recommendation or initiates such action and informs the Board to that effect, the Board will evaluate the action and may reconsider the classification of this recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of South Carolina
Date: 1/12/2001
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT SOUTH CAROLINA HAS TAKEN NO ACTION TO REQUIRE GAS DISTRIBUTION OPERATORS TO INSTALL EFV'S. THE SAFETY BOARD NOTS THAT SOUTH CAROLINA HAS INCORPORATED IN ITS PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING GAS SYSTEMS THE REQUIREMENTS OF 49 CFR PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS PART 192 TO NOTIFY NEW SERVICE LINE CUSTOMERS, AS WELL AS CUSTOMERS WHOSE SERVICE LINES HAVE BEEN REPLACED, OF THE AVAILABILITY AND SAFETY BENEFITS OF EFV'S. THE SAFETY BOARD DOES, HOWEVER, NOTE THAT SOUTH CAROLINA HAS INCORPORATED THE REQUIREMENTS OF 49 CFR PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS PART 192 IN ITS PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING GAS SYSTEMS TO NOTIFY BOTH THESE GROUPS OF CUSTOMERS OF THE AVAILABILITY AND SAFETY BENEFITS OF EFV'S. ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO STATE REQUIREMENT MANDATING EFV'S, BECAUSE SOUTH CAROLINA HAS ADOPTED AND IS ENFORCING 49 CFR PART 192 AS ITS OWN REGULATIONS, P-96-3 IS CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: State of South Carolina
To: NTSB
Date: 8/25/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/31/2000 1:39:41 PM MC# 2001195 YOUR LETTER WAS FORWARDED TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION ON 3/29/96 FOR A RESPONSE. OUR RECORDS SUBSTANTIATE THAT MR. JAMES STITES, WHO WAS THE SAFETY DEPARTMENT MANAGER AT THAT TIME, DID INDEED RESPOND TO YOU BY LETTER ON 4/9/96. THEN, ON 4/16/96, YOU ACKNOWLEDGED THAT RESPONSE IN A LETTER TO MR. STITES (SEE COPIES OF EACH LETTER ENCLOSED). ALBEIT MR. STITES' RESPONSE MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ADEQUATE, INSOMUCH AS P-96-3 WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY REFERENCED AND DISCUSSED, NONETHELESS, A RESPONSE WAS MADE. SUBSEQUENTLY, I SHALL ATTEMPT TO MAKE A MORE PERSPICACIOUS RESPONSE. EFFECTIVE ON 2/3/99, AND THEREAFTER, THE U.S. DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT) BEGAN REQUIRING PIPELINE OPERATORS TO NOTIFY ALL NEW AND REPLACED SERVICE LINE CUSTOMERS OF THE AVAILABILITY AND SAFETY BENEFITS OF THE EXCESS FLOW VALVE (EFV). (THE TEXT OF THE RULE IS FOUND IN TITLE 49 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS (CFR) PART 192.383). THIS RULE FURTHER REQUIRES OPERATORS TO INSTALL AND MAINTAIN THE EFV, AT THE CUSTOMER'S EXPENSE, FOR THE ENTIRE LIFE OF THE PIPELINE. AS WE ARE IN AGREEMENT WITH THE DOT AND OUR REGULATORY ACTIVITIES IN PIPELINE SAFETY ARE MONITORED BY THE OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY'S SOUTHERN REGION OFFICE IN ATLANTA, GA, WE HAVE ADOPTED THE RULE AND ARE ENFORCING IT HERE IN SOUTH CAROLINA. IN EXECUTING THE RUDIMENTS OF OUR AGREEMENT, THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF SOUTH CAROLINA ACCEPTS 49 CFR PIPELINE SAFETY REGULATIONS AS ISSUED AND UPDATED AS NECESSARY BY THE RESEARCH AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION (RSPA) OF DOT. THESE GUIDELINES ARE INCORPORATED IN OUR COMMISSION RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING GAS SYSTEMS. WE BELIEVE THAT THE EFV RULE HAS SUFFICIENTLY ADDRESSED AND ENCOMPASSED THE INTENT OF NTSB'S SAFETY RECOMMENDATION P-96-3. IT IS PURPORTED BY US TO INSURE THAT THE PIPELINE OPERATORS IN THIS STATE CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SAFE AND RELIABLE SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, AND THAT THE SAFETY OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS TO BE CONSIDERED FIRST AND FOREMOST AT ALL TIMES. I TRUST THAT THIS INFORMATION IS ACCEPTABLE AND SATISFIES ANY CONCERNS YOU HAVE HAD REGARDING SOUTH CAROLINA'S RESPONSIVENESS TO THIS AND ANY OTHER NTSB SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS. HOPEFULLY, I HAVE EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATED OUR APPARENT COMMON DESIRE TO PROMOTE PIPELINE INDUSTRY SAFETY AS A WHOLE. IF I CAN BE OF ANY FURTHER ASSISTANCE TO YOU OR OUR OFFICE IN THE FUTURE IN RELATION TO THIS MATTER OR OTHERS, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL ON ME.

From: State of South Carolina
To: NTSB
Date: 4/9/1996
Response:

From: NTSB
To: State of Texas
Date: 10/16/1997
Response:

From: State of Texas
To: NTSB
Date: 4/30/1997
Response:

From: State of Texas
To: NTSB
Date: 4/2/1997
Response:

From: NTSB
To: State of Texas
Date: 2/26/1997
Response: THE BOARD IS DISAPPOINTED THAT THE STATE OF TEXAS WILL NOT MANDATE THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES UNDER THE CONDITIONS IDENTIFIED IN THE SAFETY RECOMMENDATION & BELIEVES THAT THE CONCERNS OF THE RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS DO NOT ACCURATELY REFLECT THE PERFORMANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. WE ASK FOR A REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSURE PREPARED BY SAFETY BOARD STAFF ABOUT THE PROVEN BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. IT PROVIDES INFO EXPLAINING THE PRFORMANCE CAPABILITY, RELIABILITY, & SAFETY BENEFITS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES & IDENTIFIES COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THESE DEVICES. OUR ASSESSMENT OF AVAILABLE INFO IS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES ARE INEXPENSIVE, ARE RELIABLE & ARE TO ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY. THE BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE STATES MUST BECOME ACTIVE PROPONENTS OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES BECAUSE GAS CUSTOMERS & THE GENERAL PUBLIC RARELY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE DEVICES & HOW THEIR USE CAN MINIMIZE THE RISKS TO PEOPLE & PROPERTY IN THE EVENT OF A SEVICE LINE RUPTURE. THE BOARD POINTS OUT THAT P-96-3 ASKS THAT EXCESS FLOW VALVES BE INSTALLED ONLY WHEN OPERATING CONDITIONS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE VALVES. THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES IS SUPPORTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS & THE GAS SAFETY ACTION COUNCIL, A GAS CONSUMER ADVOCACY GROUP. A NUMBER OF NATIONAL INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE GAS PIPING TECHNICAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE, A BODY THAT MAKES REOMMENDATIONS TO GAS OPERATORS ON SAFE OPERATIONS, IS DEVELOPING GUIDANCE ON SELECTING & EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE MANUFACTURERS STANDARDIZATIOIN SOCIETY & THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING & MATERIALS HAVE ISSUED STANDARDS TO ENSURE THE SAFE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. PENDING REVIEW OF THE ENCLOSED MATERIAL & RECONSIDERATION OF THE RECOMMENDED ACTION. P-96-3 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." WE BELIEVE THAT THE INFO PROVIDED SHOULD ENCOURAGE RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS EITHER TO REQUIRE THE INSTALLATION OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES OR, AT THE VERY LEAST, TO IMPLEMENT A PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM ENCOURAGING GREATER USE OF THESE SAFETY VALVES. THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE BEING KEPT INFORMED ABOUT YOUR STATE'S ACTIVITIES CONCERNING THE USE OF EXCESS FLOW VALVES. THE BOARD STAFF WOULD BE PLEASED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INFO OR TO ASSIST IN ANY WAY REGARDING THIS MATTER.

From: State of Texas
To: NTSB
Date: 4/29/1996
Response: THE GOVERNOR, THROUGH THE RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS, ADVISED IT DOES NOT ANTICIPATE ACTING ON THIS RECOMMENDATION AT THIS TIME. IT ADVISED ALSO THAT IT IS CONTINUING TO MONITOR THE EFV ISSUE THROUGH THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE BOARD & THROUGH ACTIONS OF THE DOT.