Department of Transportation (DOT) – Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) Regarding the Addition of Opioids to Drug Testing Panel

Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs:  Addition of Certain Schedule II Drugs to the Department of Transportation’s Drug-Testing Panel and Certain Minor Amendments

On January 23, 2017, the DOT published an NPRM that adds four opioids to its drug-testing panel and updates to its drug testing program provisions.  This is an effort to align the DOT drug-testing program with the HHS program, in addition to some general updates to Part 40.  This is an NPRM not a Final Rule and the DOT is seeking comments from the public with a submission due date of March 24, 2017.

Under this proposed rule, DOT would make the following changes to 49 CFR Part 40:

  • Amend the Drug Testing Panel and MRO Verification Process as follows:
  • Add hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone and oxymorphone (and their corresponding test cut off concentrations)
  • Changing the term opiates to opioids
  • Add MDA as an initial test analyte
  • Remove MDEA

Remove, modify and amend the following definitions to match HHS:

  • Remove Blind Specimen or blind performance test
  • Modify the definition of DOT to address Coast Guard
  • Revise the definition of Drugs to include the new opioids being tested

Modify three provisions regarding urine specimens:

  • Add a new section 40.210 that states “only urine may be collected for DOT testing”
  • Expand the fatal flaws to include the following, bringing the list to seven
    • There is no chain of custody (CCF)
    • There is no specimen submitted with the CCF
    • Two separate collections are performed using one CCF
  • Address what a collector must do when a specimen is questionable and the donor is unable to provide a follow-up specimen

Remove the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators to submit blind specimens

Add language further clarifying that DNA testing is prohibited for DOT regulated urine testing

Amend 40.141 with language regarding valid prescription for MRO Verification process and allow MROs to run further testing without DOT consent

Revision of Part 40 in various sections to address the four new opioids being tested

Require Collectors, MROs, STTs, BATs and SAPs to subscribe to DOT’s list-serve

Remove the list of approved SAP certification organizations from the list of qualifying credentials in Part 40 and locate it on the agency’s website

Prohibit service agents from using the DOT logo and branding to represent endorsement from the agency

Remove outdated compliance dates

Editorial corrections where text points the reader to the incorrect reference

Update appendix items:

  • Appendices B and C – Add four new opioids to the drugs listed and remove MDEA
  • Modify existing website links to point to the correct location
  • Remove Appendix H addressing MIS report instructions, and move it to the agency’s website to allow for changes outside the regulatory process

Update various website links

FirstLab will continue to monitor the DOT proposed regulations in this NPRM through the rulemaking process and provide our clients’ guidance on how these new regulations will impact their operations. Should you have any questions, or wish to discuss this NPRM in more detail, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Account Coordinator.

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