North Dakota regulators have assigned staff members to look into whether Xcel Energy violated state natural gas pipeline safety rules.
The case arose from a September 2008 explosion in Fargo that destroyed a duplex and injured 13 people.
The state Public Service Commission on Tuesday named three staff members who will recommend whether to issue a probable violation notice to Xcel Energy. If that happens, the utility may request a hearing to challenge the allegations.
Commission President Kevin Cramer says the agency is exploring whether Xcel Energy broke any state rules on gas pipeline safety. If any violations are found, the commission will decide whether Xcel should be fined.