BILLINGS, Mont. – The Obama administration is moving to significantly expand a requirement for utilities to install inexpensive safety valves on natural gas lines across the U.S. to avert the risk of deadly explosions.
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The proposal on Wednesday would cover new or replaced gas lines serving multi-family dwellings, small businesses and homes not covered under a 2009 mandate.
Safety advocates have pressed for years to broaden requirements for excess flow valves, which cost about $30 and automatically shut off the flow of gas when a line is ruptured.
An Associated Press investigation in 2012 uncovered more than 270 accidents dating to 1968 that could have been prevented or made less dangerous if the valves had been in place.
Manual valves would be required for apartment buildings and large commercial or residential gas customers.