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  • DOT Final Rulemaking
    Opioid Testing for
    Transportation Workers
    Updated On: Feb 01, 2018

    The Department of Transportation has amended 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 standardizes 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 also removes the requirement for employers and Consortium/Third Party Administrators to submit blind specimens. The DOT addressed the comments submitted by labor organizations and other opponents of the removal of blind specimen testing in its final rulemaking:

    The Department and the transportation industries rely upon the NLCP [National Laboratory Certification Program] certification and oversight processes, as well as the split specimen testing process, to ensure that the accuracy of the laboratory testing is up to NLCP certification standards. In OTETA [Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991], Congress directed the Department to rely on HHS-certified laboratories, without any reference to the additional process of blind specimen testing. Moreover, there have been no false positive results for blind specimens reported to the Department, as required by the current Part 40, either before or after the NPRM was issued. The Department will continue to rely on HHS for laboratory certification because now more than 25 years of blind specimen testing has shown that there have been no false positive blind specimen results. Given the rigorous HHS oversight of the laboratories, as well as the business necessity for the laboratories to maintain a reliable record of accuracy, it is not likely that laboratories would relax their standards simply because the relatively small number of blind specimen tests now required was eliminated. Consequently, the Department is adopting its proposal to remove blind specimen testing requirements from part 40.

    This rule went into effect on January 1, 2018.


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