Plumbing Distributor Takes on Minn. Law

     ST. PAUL (CN) – A Minnesota law banning the installation of one-way valves in plumbing venting systems is unconstitutional and based on unsubstantiated safety concerns, a plumbing distributor claims in Ramsey County Court.

     Studor distributes air-admittance valves, which are one-way valves that allow air to enter the plumbing system, but remain shut under all other conditions, including no flow and backflow, thereby preventing sewer gas from entering the building.
     Studor claims that two Minnesota legislators wrote to the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry in 2006, asking the agency to suspend rule-making on air-admittance valves. The legislators said they intended “to take a serious look at this issue during the coming legislative session,” and made unsubstantiated references to the valves being a “risk” due to “health concerns.”
     The ban was passed in May 2007.
     Nonsense, Studor claims. “The 2007 legislative history provides no colorable showing that the regulation contributes to public health and safety,” the lawsuit states. “The record is devoid of any basis, whether substantial or not, to justify the legislation.”
     Studor claims the law violates its due process and equal protection rights, because it “discriminates invidiously” between Studor’s products and open-pipe venting systems.

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