The Department of Transportation is amending its drug-testing program regulation to add hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone to its drug-testing panel; add methylenedioxyamphetamine as an initial test analyte; and remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine as a confirmatory test analyte. The revision of the drug-testing panel harmonizes DOT regulations with the revised HHS Mandatory Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal drug-testing programs for urine testing. This final rule clarifies certain existing drug-testing program provisions and definitions, makes technical amendments, and removes the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators to submit blind specimens.
This rule is effective on January 1, 2018.
The Department of Transportation (DOT or the Department) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on January 23, 2017. 82 FR 7771 (Jan. 23, 2017). The NPRM proposed to revise Part 40 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to harmonize with certain parts of the revised the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Urine (HHS Mandatory Guidelines), which was published on Start Printed Page 52230the same day. 82 FR 7920 (Jan. 23, 2017). DOT currently requires urine testing for safety-sensitive transportation industry employees subject to drug testing under Part 40.
There are two changes to the HHS Mandatory Guidelines with which the NPRM proposed to harmonize Part 40. First, the revised HHS Mandatory Guidelines, in part, allow Federal agencies with drug-testing responsibilities to test for four additional Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule II prescription medications: Hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. Second, the HHS Mandatory Guidelines remove methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) as a confirmatory test analyte from the existing drug-testing panel and add methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte. In addition to harmonizing with pertinent sections of the HHS Mandatory Guidelines for urine testing, the NPRM proposed to clarify certain existing Part 40 provisions; to remove provisions that no longer are necessary (such as obsolete compliance dates); to move the content of certain provisions out of Part 40 and onto the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance's (ODAPC) Web site; and to update definitions and web links where necessary. The Department also proposed to remove existing Part 40 requirements related to blind specimen testing.
Jon L. Gelman is nationally recognized as an author, lecturer and skilled trial attorney in the field of workers' compensation law and occupational/environmental disease litigation. Over a career spanning more than four decades, he has been involved in complex litigation involving thousands of clients challenging the mega-industries of asbestos, tobacco, lead paint and burn pits. He is the author of the 3-volume treatise entitled Workers' Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise of Modern Workers' Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters).
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